Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Tourism and Leisure Siandou Fofana has stated that the recently held World Tourism Day celebration in Abidjan will be a rallying point for the tourism sector to revive the industry globally.
The Minister, who also doubles as the Chair of UNWTO’s Commission for Africa (CAF), made this statement when he was addressing over 1,500 delegates at the celebration of the 41st World Tourism Day in Abidjan.
‘’This celebration will go down in the history of the country as the starting point of reviving the tourism sector. During this meeting, Cote d’Ivoire has become the centre of interest for world tourism. Moreover, since the pandemic, this celebration in Abidjan provides the opportunity to be the most important in the post-covid period and which now marks the beginning of the revival of the tourism sector in terms of a global restart”.- Mr. Fofana said.
The Minister observed that the hosting of the event was momentous and will forever be significant in Cote D’Ivoire’s history as dignitaries and big wigs in the field of tourism and beyond graced the occasion with their presence. Key personalities who were present on this impressive occasion included Zurab Pololikashvili; the Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Patrick Achi; the Ivorian Prime Minister, Didier Drogba; Ambassador of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) among other Ministers and international personalities.
Minister Fofana was optimistic that the celebration will be a turning point in reviving the sector. He highlighted the adverse effect of the pandemic on the world economy resulting in the loss of over 4 trillion US dollars to the global GDP.
The unfortunate event has also rendered a lot of people jobless and led to a fall in activities, between 50 to 70 percent.
According to him the relevance of tourism cannot be understated. Mr. Siandou Fofona, who is also a member of the Executive Council of the UNWTO, made a clarion call for the involvement of all in a rethinking of strategy moving forward, particularly in the roles of the organization since the survival and revival of the sector hinges around it.
The Minister rounded his speech with an invitation to all to pool efforts together to create a robust sector once again. He added, “This should be enforced as the content and strength of the actions, which the tourism world expects from our organization, depend solely on us, in other words on our commitment to innovation.”
The Global Tourism Day showcase saw 122 countries, 1,500 present participants, and 3,500 remote participants. This year’s celebration was themed; “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”.