Tourism continues to grow and attract interest in Africa prompting management to cope up with the metamorphosis of the industry. This has led to blocs strategizing on how they can increase tourism traffic on their regions and remain competitive in the market.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Business Council (CBC) is on the verge of launching a regional tourism and wildlife heritage handbook to promote the bloc as a single tourist and wildlife destination.
The handbook is part of the COMESA Sustainable Tourism Development Strategic Framework that has been adapted by member states as a model to develop national tourism action plans to boost competitiveness of the sector. It seeks to raise awareness on sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation among the 19 member countries, according to the CBC Chief Executive Officer Sandra Uwera.
The publication titled, ‘The COMESA Tourism and Wildlife Heritage Handbook’ will be launched during the ongoing 47th Africa World Tourism Heritage Summit taking place in Kigali. Uwera said the handbook showcases the different tourism and wildlife products in all the 19 COMESA countries. “This initiative will promote cross-border linkages and partnerships between stakeholders in the tourism industry in COMESA. It will also help to advocate for responsible business practices towards environmental sustainability in tourism sector.”
Osborn Kinene, the Rwanda Eco-Tours boss, said the handbook is a timely intervention that will help market Rwanda as a tourism destination, thus increasing tourism revenues. The publication will operate under the theme “Single Market–Countless destinations”. Rwanda projects to earn $444 million (about Rwf370 billion) from tourism this year compared to $404 million recorded last year.