Friday, November 3, 2023
The 23rd World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, themed “Building Bridges for a Sustainable Future,” was held in Rwanda. Africa has much to offer in the field of Travel & Tourism, including inspiring tourism experiences and lessons in becoming Guardians of Nature. It is a continent full of promise.
This morning at #GSRwanda, three esteemed African leaders, including H.E. Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Prosper Bazombanza, Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, and H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, shared opening remarks and their vision for the future of the continent.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda highlighted the transformative impact of his nation’s intentional policies and initiatives, showcasing how Rwanda has been changed through the influence of travel and tourism. Kagame underlined the significance of conservation as an integral component of their approach to forging a sustainable future. Rwanda’s dedication to the tourism sector also encompasses expanding its infrastructure to accommodate major events, including sports competitions. Furthermore, Kagame called on African nations to remove barriers that impede cross-border travel, suggesting the simplification and potential elimination of visa acquisition for African citizens. He reaffirmed the importance of implementing the Single African Air Transport.
Market President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania highlighted the crucial role of tourism in her country’s economy, noting that it contributes approximately 17.2% to Tanzania’s GDP and accounts for 25% of the total export earnings. She emphasized that this substantial contribution from a single sector underscores the potential for Africa to leverage tourism as a means of achieving economic growth and generating employment opportunities. She adds, “Africa should tell its own story in its terms and set a positive narrative about our continent. We cannot afford to continue remaining silent in this era of fake news; we should stand up and put the reports straight – Africa is not only the future, it is now.”
The three-day WTTC Global Summit has brought together international tourism leaders and media in Kigali, providing a platform for connection, networking, knowledge-sharing, and discussions on emerging trends in global tourism. This event marks a significant stride in harnessing the vast potential of African tourism, fostering unity among countries and paving the way for a promising future for the entire continent.