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Africa's tourism gears up for comeback [Interview]


At the beginning of 2020, Africa, the world’s second fastest growing tourism industry, was projected to rake in billions of dollars.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought travel and tourism to a near-standstill. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimates that the pandemic will cost up to 2 million direct and indirect jobs in tourism on the continent.

Many countries are reporting a steep loss in overall revenue with most relying heavily on international travelers.

In terms of Tourism development I think it's a golden opportunity to relook at the product offering and diversify obviously. Domestic and intra-regional travel will remain very strong. This is where most countries are now putting their efforts...

Tanzania was the first country to reopen its boarders to tourists and international travel followed by the Seychelles Island, Tunisia, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Rwanda, Liberia and Zambia.

Popular destinations like South Africa have opted to push back their reopening date to early 2021 as the government has gradually started to open back up.

As more and more African countries open their borders, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) led Global Tourism Crisis Committee has drawn up guidelines to restart tourism.

In this interview, Nyasha K Mutizwa discusses these guidelines and the new normal for travel on the continent with Elcia Grandcourt, the UNWTO Regional Director for Africa.