UN:Tourism helps African development

CNC
Added On July 7, 2017

INTRO
 
With its lush savannahs, golden beaches, and iconic wildlife, Africa is a dream destination for many jetsetters looking for a dream vacation.
 
Now tourism is being touted as potential tool for sustainable development in Africa too.
 
Lifestyles has more.
  
PKG
 
According to a new report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, tourism is a big business in Africa, and a great help to economic development.
 
Between 2011 and 2014, tourism contributed about 166 billion U.S. dollars to African GDP. It also created 21 million jobs: 7 percent of all jobs in Africa. 
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): CLAUDIA ROETHLISBERGER, UN Conference of Research& Development 
"In our report we argue that tourism merits attention, investment and development. Because it is fast growing, it's dynamic, it contributes a lot to the continent's GDP and it's very labor intensive."
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): MARCIO FAVALLA, UN World Tourism Organization
"In the last 16 years it is good to remember Africa has been one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world."
 
58 million international tourists visited Africa in 2016, an increase of 4 million year-on-year. 
 
Tourism receipts grew by 8 percent, to hit 16 billion U.S. dollars.
 
Tourism also is a big employer for young people and women, and allows them to earn further skills, such as languages.
 
However, the UN believed more can still be done in order to take more potential benefits from tourism in Africa.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): CLAUDIA ROETHLISBERGER, UN Conference of Research& Development 
"One is strengthening linkages with other sectors, because linkages are very diverse and which contribute to the economic diversification of the economies and create a lot of employment in communities. We also see that intra-African tourism matters. That helps to smoothen seasonality, further strengthen these linkages and further contribute to social benefits like peace."
 
The agency also noted how tourism benefits local firms, such as transport, agriculture, and craft sectors.
 
To best take full advantage of this, the agency suggested lifting visa requirements, currency restrictionism and promoting an "open skies" policy.