'INSECURITY BANE OF TOURISM DEVT IN AFRICA'
By Jimoh Babatunde
CALABAR- Insecurity has been identified as one of the major challenges facing the growth of tourism in Africa, as African tourism ministers' conference opens in Calabar, Cross River State.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 53rd United Nations' World Tourism Organisation: Commission for Africa conference, CAF, Chairman and Burkina Faso's Tourism Minister, Mr Baba Hama, said the task before the body was how to mitigate the impact of security on tourism in the continent.
He said: 'If we look at the political and security situation in the continent today, our efforts should be on how to mitigate their impact on tourism growth.'
Hama, said tourism can be developed in Africa, if attention was paid to inter Africa tourism by ensuring free movement of people in Africa. 'We must ensure sustainable tourism promotion in the region by stimulating travel demand.'
Also at the summit with the theme, 'Responsible Tourism: Opportunities for Women and Youth,' Secretary General of UNWTO, Dr. Taleb Rifai, said one of the plans of the agency to encourage free movement of people in the world was to tackle the issue of visa facilitation.
He said: 'UNWTO has been working with several industry bodies and governments to advance visa facilitation, an area in which depite the great strides made, there is still much room for progress.'
Nigeria's hosting of the commission's meeting this year, the second in recent time, as it last hosted in 2008.