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UNWTO backs ‘Brand Africa’ to realise continent’s tourism potential

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Zurab Pololikashvili

UNWTO’s African Member States will work together to establish a new narrative for tourism across the continent.

To better realise tourism’s potential to drive recovery, UNWTO and its Members will also work with the African Union and the private sector to promote the continent to new global audiences through positive, people-centred storytelling and effective branding.

With tourism recognised as an essential pillar of sustainable and inclusive development for the continent, UNWTO welcomed high-level delegates to the first Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa. The conference featured the participation of the political leadership of host country Namibia, alongside public and private sector leaders from across the continent.

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UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili who welcomed the common determination to rethink as well as restart tourism said, “African destinations must take the lead in celebrating and promoting the continent’s vibrant culture, youthful energy and entrepreneur spirit, and its rich gastronomy.”

On the back of a series of workshops and a Ministerial Think Tank, UNWTO’s African Member States unanimously endorsed the Windhoek Pledge on advocating Brand Africa. Under the terms of the Windhoek Pledge, Members will engage both public and private sector stakeholders, as well as local communities to build a new, inspiring narrative for tourism across the continent. They will identify positive, human-centred stories, and through strengthened partnerships with the media, showcase them to the world, reaching new and diverse tourism source markets.

Over the coming weeks, UNWTO will work with all signatories to create a common roadmap towards establishing Brand Africa. This will include establishing common values and goals and identifying funding needs and opportunities as well as providing branding toolkits for destinations, including guidelines and recommendations, and training and capacity building in market intelligence, digital marketing and data management.

Alongside the conference, Pololikashvili, held high-level talks on the restart of tourism with President of Namibia Hage Geingob, as well as with the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and with the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga.

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