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MEETING OF THE MINISTERIAL WORKING GROUP ONTHE TOURISM SECTOR DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR AFRICA: AU AGENDA 2063

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- INVITATION TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES

WHEN: 13 - 14 March 2014

The Ministerial Group meeting will be organised in two sessions as follows:

- 13 March 2014: Expert meeting to prepare the Ministerial Session Working papers

- 14 March 2014: Ministerial Meeting for adoption of the report on the Ministerial Working Group on tourism sector development strategy for Africa: AU Agenda 2063.

WHERE: Republic of Seychelles

WHO: Organised by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union, in collaboration with the Government of Seychelles

WHY: Tourism as a service sector has clearly emerged as potential driver of socio-economic development and growth in Africa, a continent that is richly endowed with natural resources. Hence globally, the tourism industry faces a range of inherent threats and opportunities. In the context of the 2004 AU Tourism Action Plan, the African Union is expected to develop a tourism policy and strategic framework for the accelerated development of tourism in Africa.

Objectives: In view of the on-going elaboration of the AU Agenda 2063, the ministerial conference on tourism will be a platform to put in place a continental policy and strategy that provides guidance to the short, medium and long-term aspirations of Africa in the tourism sector.

The long-term objective of this policy and strategy is to enable Africa to develop its tourism industry to an appropriate level and maximise its benefit to the socio-economic development of the people of this continent.

Key Issues: The brainstorming session of the Ministerial Working Group will focus on various issues including:

Management (census and classification) of African heritage tourism;

Development of sites, African cultures and special attributes;

African tourism marketing based on complementarity;

Investment promotion including the private sector;

Standards and norms including a tourism code of conduct and ethics for Africa;

Human resource capacities for sector management;

Capacity building for people working in the tourism sector;

Tourism research and development;

Professionalization of Africa tourism operators;

Private and public investment in tourism infrastructure and products;

Management of shared (cross-border) tourism resources (game reserves, waterfalls, etc.);

Intra-Africa tourism for continental integration and cooperation;

African tourism marketing strategy (campaign - e.g. promoting Africa as a brand for more impact and synergy, etc.);

Connectivity facilitating visit of 2 or 3 countries in a package;

Tourism visa facilities;

Infrastructure and investment (e.g. promoting African cross-border investment in hotels, airport, roads, ports, etc.);

Tourism policy and regulatory framework.

Expected Results: This will include the followings:

Strategic orientations for the harmonization oftourism policy, regulatory framework, standards and norms including a code of conduct and ethics for Africa;

Strong institutional and human resource capacities for sector management as well as for research and development;

Enhanced share of Africa's international tourism business which is now controlled by operators in other continents;

Increased private and public investment in tourism infrastructure and products;

Joint management of shared (cross-border) tourism resources (game reserves, waterfalls, etc.); and increased intra-Africa tourism to, inter alia, strengthen continental integration and cooperation;

Boosting marketing of Africa's tourism:

(i) African tourism marketing strategy (campaign - e.g. promoting Africa as a brand for more impact and synergy, etc.);

(ii) Improved connectivity to facilitate visits to 2 or 3 countries in a package;

(iii) Removing of tourism visa constraints;

(iv) Infrastructure and investment (e.g. promoting African cross-border investment in hotels, airport, roads, ports, etc.);

(v) Capacity building for people working in the tourism sector.

Participants: The Ministerial Working Group will be composed of:

- Ministers responsible for Tourism of selected Member States of the AU;

- Representatives of the private sector of the tourism industry will be invited as observers to provide input; and

- Some Officials from the African Union Commission (AUC).