By Iminza Keboge and WorldTourismWire.Com
Published November 26, 2016
United Nations has pledged its support to the development of tourism in Africa.
Through World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the world body’s specialised agency for the travel industry, the UN notes that “Perception issues and the generalisation of the impact of crises in specific locations to the whole region are some of the main obstacles facing tourism development in Africa.”
Consequently, UNWTO and UNWTO Themis Foundation held a three-day training on crisis communication in Sudan on the premise that “crisis communication preparedness is key to building resilience in Africa as it allows destinations to minimise the impact of crisis situations on the tourism sector.”
The course, part of UNWTO and UNWTO Themis Foundation’s ongoing training on crisis communication, brought together some 60 communications professionals from 11 African countries to hone their skills in crisis communications preparedness and management.
Taleb Rifai, the outgoing Secretary General of UNWTO, was present in The Sudan November 15-17, 2016 during the regional executive training on crisis communication and to express UNWTO’s commitment to support Africaâ€™s tourism development.
Meeting with Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, the President of the Sudan, Rifai presented him with â€˜Open Letter on Travel and Tourismâ€™, a campaign promoted jointly by UNWTO and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to raise awareness of the value of tourism to development.
Besides communicating effective and positive messages to the world, Rifai also stressed the need to build and have the right infrastructure in place for tourism and travel to thrive as a socio-economic activity that transforms lives.