KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- The
41st Annual World Tourism Conference on Monday kicked off in Rwanda’s
capital city Kigali with a focus on promoting tourism as an engine for economic
growth and job creation across Africa.
the meeting from Aug. 28 to 31, under the auspices of the Africa Travel
Association (ATA), a division of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the
Rwanda Development Board (RDB). It is the first time that ATA’s Tourism
Conference is hosted in the central African country.
has brought together African tourism ministers, industry professionals
representing tourism boards, destination representatives, travel agents, tour
operators, ground operators, airlines, hotels and accommodations, service
providers, and travel media to set the stage for how tourism can be utilized as
an engine for economic growth across Africa, according to organizers.
reporters on the sidelines of the meeting on Monday, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB,
said the conference comes at a very crucial moment that Rwanda is promoting
wildlife conservation activities, for instance the annual naming of baby
mountain gorillas to be held on Sept. 1.
conference will especially focus on innovative business models, new technologies
and strategic partnerships. It will also provide a platform to network and
explore new tourism markets and products including the promotion and
preservation of Africa’s rich cultural heritage and wildlife.
CCA aims to promote Africa as a premier tourist destination and support
investment and policies that contribute to the industry’s growth,” said CCA
president and CEO Florizelle Liser.
conference will highlight opportunities in the tourism sector and intersecting
sectors such as infrastructure, ICT, health, real estate development, and
finance, she said.
the World Tourism Organization, Africa received a total of 65.3 million
international tourists in 2014 and earned 43.6 billion U.S. dollars of revenue,
compared to 17.4 million tourists in 1990.
Annual World Tourism Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015.