Local tourism and hospitality sector players have welcomed the initiative by African Development Bank (AfDB) to support diversification of tourism business, saying it will help make the industry more competitive and attractive. Commenting on the development, Osborn Kinene, the Rwanda Eco-Tours chief executive, said diversifying the tourism industry presents industry investors and other stakeholders, including communities surrounding tourism sites and national parks an opportunity to expand offerings and attract more visitors.
While speaking during the World Tourism Day celebrations in New York last Wednesday, the African Development Bank (AfDB) president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the continental funder was renewing its support for the tourism industry, focusing on projects that seek to promote diversification of tourism on the continent. The annual event is organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Rwanda Development Board projects the tourism sector to generate about $444 million in 2017, up from $404 million recorded last year. Meanwhile, Adesina has called for strong public-private sector partnerships geared at supporting and promoting sustainable tourism development in Africa.
He added that Africa’s tourism and travel industry can serve as an engine of progress for socio-economic transformation. Adesina challenged Africa’s tourism and travel industry players to work together and bring up innovative ideas and initiatives that will help revolutionize the sector.
He added that the cultural and creative industries, such as textiles, fashion, food, culinary, arts and film present huge untapped potential that could help boost tourism on the continent, and create jobs and spur incomes of communities.