By Ogova Ondego
Published January 24, 2015
An annual gathering of tourism and travel experts aimed at promoting business and knowledge exchange between African tourism projects and international partners is set to congregate in the Spanish capital, Madrid, on January 29, 2015.
The Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR), that marks its sixth edition in 2015, is expected to bring together 22 Ministers of Tourism from Africa and the Middle East and experts from the African Development Bank and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), among others.
The organisers of INVESTOUR that shall take place at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in Spain say the meeting shall bring together “a record number of African tourism projects, potential investors and business partners, opening new opportunities for sustainable tourism in the region.”
Tourism, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), “is increasingly recognized as an important driver of socio-economic development in Africa, a region which has seen tourism demand jump from 26 million international tourists in 2000 to 56 million in 2014.”
The Forum, a joint initiative of UNWTO, FITUR, and Casa Ãfrica (an agency of the Spanish government), is a yearly platform promoting business and knowledge exchange between African tourism projects and international partners.
INVESTOUR 2015, that includes a business-to-business (B2B) segment, matching representatives of African tourism projects with potential international partners, will focus on investment in human capital and the impact of Africaâ€™s image on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the tourism sector.
The symposium shall be opened by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai; Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, JosÃ© Manuel Soria; and Director-General of Casa Ãfrica, Luis PadrÃ³n.
The official closing of the event shall be presided over by Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Borrego CortÃ©s.