For the second year running, the Tourism Investment Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR), held at the international tourism trade fair FITUR 2011, will increase the visibility of Africa as a tourism destination and mobilise investment as a tool for sustainable tourism development (Madrid, Spain, 20 January).
Following the success of the first edition in January 2010, INVESTOUR will once again set the stage for African destinations to highlight tourism business and investment opportunities.
The Forum allows potential investors to better grasp the continent’s tourism potential and support its socio-economic development. As a consequence of increased investment, tourism growth will have a significant positive impact across Africa, given its capacity to generate employment, foreign exchange earnings, national income and development. Investment in tourism will also have direct positive effects on other sectors of the economy.
Tourism is one of Africa’s greatest assets; its abundance of tourism resources, natural landscapes and rich history and culture suggest that the African inbound tourism market has great potential for development. Indeed, Africa was one of the fastest growing tourism regions of the last decade and the only region to show positive tourism growth in 2009, which it maintained during 2010, buoyed by increasing economic dynamism and the hosting of the FIFA World Football Cup in South Africa.
INVESTOUR is co-organized by UNWTO, Casa Africa and FITUR and will feature the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a specially invited region. To date, 39 African countries will be represented at the Forum, including 22 African Ministers responsible for tourism. The morning session of the Forum will consist of a series of presentations and debates, while the afternoon is set aside for 300 one-on-one meetings between African tourism authorities and Spanish private sector representatives.