© Valery sharifulin/TASS

Experts urge to develop tourism in Africa. Industry will help employ residents of the continent and to reduce the number of poor. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of the report “Economic development in Africa. Report 2017. Tourism for transformation and inclusive growth”, published on the website of the UN Conference on trade and development (UNCTAD). This was reported by the UN news center.

“Tourism in Africa is a dynamic sector with phenomenal potential. Proper management of this sector can contribute to its diverse development and will lead to the fact that the fruits of tourism are available to vulnerable,” said the UNCTAD Secretary-General Kituyi Mukhisa (Mukhisa Kituyi).

Tourism provides employment for more than 20 million people in Africa (every 14 jobs ). From 1995 to 2014 revenue from tourism on the continent grew more than three times – from $14 billion to $47 billion industry’s Contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) increased from $69 billion in 1995-1998 to $166 billion in the 2011-2014 period, from 6.8 to 8.5% of GDP. According to forecasts, by 2026 it will be $121 billion.

While the contribution of tourism to GDP remains below the world average (10% of GDP). To develop the industry and increase the tourist flow interfere with ongoing armed conflicts and problems in the field of health.

“For the development of tourism in Africa, governments and regional institutions to solve security problems and respond more quickly to crises,” said UNCTAD. According to the report, after the revolution in Tunisia in 2010-2011, the sector’s revenues decreased by 27%, from $3.5 billion in 2009 to $2.5 billion in 2011.

The experts recommend governments to simplify the visa regime between the countries, to ensure the convertibility of currency, to improve information and communication technology, security, logistics and emergency assistance in the regions, to protect the tourist areas, to take measures to resolve conflicts and natural disasters, support local entrepreneurs and farmers who could sell products to tourists.

The UN has recognized the role of international travel in the fight against poverty, declaring 2017 as the International year of sustainable tourism. According to the annual report of the world tourism organization of the UN (toon, developing sustainable and accessible tourism), in 2016, over 1.3 billion international tourists spent $1.4 trillion, equivalent to Australia’s GDP.

However, according to a global dashboard of sustainable tourism (Global Sustainable Tourism Dashboard), which allows to estimate the sector’s contribution to the achievement of sustainable development goals, over the past few years, the share of tourism exports (the import of tourist money into the country) in least developed countries and small island developing States is less than 6% of tourist spending around the world. More on inbound tourism (foreign travelers) have earned US ($212 million), China ($120 million), Spain ($66 million), Thailand ($54 million), France ($47 million), Germany ($47 million), Italy ($42 million), United Kingdom ($37 million) and Japan ($32 million). These countries account for almost half of total income from tourism.

As Professor in sustainable tourism and head of the Institute for tourism Griffith (Griffith Institute for Tourism) at Griffith University (Griffith University) Suzanne Bakken in The Cоnversation, themselves income to reduce poverty can’t. “If I could, Thailand – the fourth most popular tourist destination – have been drowning in wealth,” – said the expert. Many countries lack their own infrastructure. Such States has to import goods. Investors in many developing countries are the foreigners, so most of the profit from tourism goes abroad. As found by researcher Lee Lange, India loses about 40% of the funds from tourism, Mauritius – 80%.

According to Becken, supporting local business, investing in the education and training of personnel, the state can save more income sector. Tourism authority Samoa (Samoa Tourism Authority) in 2014 and developed a plan for the development of the tourism sector in the state (Samoa Tourism Sector Plan) until 2019. Under the strategy, local people sell food and other goods, but also rents to tourists huts on the coast. 2 thousand individual rooms at the Samo 340 is beach houses. Due to changes in tourism revenues in the country between 2005 and 2015 increased from $73 million to $141 million In 2014, Samoa was excluded from the list of least developed countries.

Says Suzanne, Becken, tourism can provide countries with sustainable growth, if local residents will be involved in the industry – will be working in hotels, restaurants or manage tourist facilities. International organizations such as the UN, can help the countries by directing funds to the transport sector and infrastructure development. Tourists themselves can contribute, giving preference to local travel companies, food and other goods.

Material provided by the project of “1”.