The VI Investment and Tourism Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR) is held with the attendance of 16 Tourism Ministers from Africa and the Middle East and experts from different areas at International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, Spain.
INVESTOUR, a joint UNWTO, FITUR and Casa Africa initiative now in its sixth year, has become a central platform for companies and African tourism authorities to promote investment and commercial opportunities in the continent. This annual event is also a key forum to debate some of the most pressing issues affecting tourism in Africa.
“Supporting Africa´s tourism is supporting the region´s economic growth and employment, bringing immense opportunities for development”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “In order to fulfil Africa’s tourism potential, key challenges such as infrastructure development, travel facilitation and the full usage of modern technologies to maximize marketing and services needs to be addressed. INVESTOUR facilitates fruitful partnerships that helps transform these challenges into opportunities for a brighter future in Africa and a more inclusive growth for all”.
Attending the Forum were the Ministers of Tourism of Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Secretary of State for Tourism of Guinea-Bissau, alongside experts from the African Development Bank (ADB) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Training and Development Institute among others.
As in previous editions, the business-to-business (B2B) session brought together 140 tourism initiatives from 34 African countries to meet with 20 companies from around the world.
Between 2000 and 2014, international tourist arrivals to Africa more than doubled, from 26 million to 56 million. Despite a challenging 2014, the region still grew 2% compared to 2013, and the future outlook remains positive with 134 million arrivals forecast by UNWTO for 2030.