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Tourism of Africa to promote the economic development

         Date: 2012-03-21

           Tag: Africa economic, Africa economic development

Summary: Brigety spoke March 16 in Washington at the fifth annual meeting of the Africa Travel Association, an industry group that promotes travel, tourism and transport to and within Africa.

Brigety spoke March 16 in Washington at the fifth annual meeting of the Africa Travel Association, an industry group that promotes travel, tourism and transport to and within Africa.

Citing sub-Saharan Africa’s yearly growth rates of 5 percent to 6 percent and an improved investment climate, Brigety expressed his hope that positive trends will continue to lift more people out of poverty, while
also helping U.S. businesses that can serve the growing African middle class.

The U.S. government “supports a number of different policies and programs to help Africans and Americans alike capitalize on … emerging opportunities,” Brigety said. He pointed to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which mandates low tariffs for thousands of African goods entering the U.S. market, and other U.S. measures that support two-way trade with Africa.

“One of our programs has specifically helped the tourism industry: Our Safe Skies for Africa Program focuses on making air transport safer and has assisted African airports to meet the standards necessary for U.S. carriers to enter Africa,” he said. A country’s success as a tourist destination depends on ease of access, he added, so aviation infrastructure “is vital.”

International tourism receipts in Africa “totaled 44 billion U.S. dollars in 2010,” he said. “This signifies that the sector can become a powerful platform for Africa’s economic growth, and especially U.S.-Africa tourism.”

But tourism “is a highly competitive business,” and in a digital age, “maintaining competitiveness requires the effective use of technology, information and innovation.”

“Adequate infrastructure is crucial to a country’s growth and success as a tourism destination,” Brigety said. Access to energy, transportation and telecommunications will help advance tourism throughout Africa.
Brigety noted that the United States continues to work with African nations to develop the continent’s infrastructure. In February, the U.S. State Department organized an energy trade mission to Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana, and later that month, Clinton hosted the first State Department Global Business Conference, which featured a regional session devoted to Africa.

Finally, the tourism sector cannot fully develop without enhanced health services and personal safety in tourist areas, he said.

“As Africa continues to grow, so too will its tourism potential,” Brigety said. “It is up to all parties involved, be they governments, consumers, investors or local leaders, to work together to realize the goal of a more integrated, open and developed Africa.”


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