ECOWAS, private sector unveil strategies to boost regional tourism

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L-R: ECOWAS Ag. Director, Investment, Anthony Elumelu; Director, Hospitality and Travel Trade, Nigerian Tourism Development Authority, Mrs. Ruth Ndam; ECOWAS Program Officer, Tourism, Stella Drabo, at the event on Thursday, in Abuja.

By Mark Longyen

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the private tourism sector and other stakeholders have unveiled strategic initiatives aimed at creatinga robust regional tourism confederation across the bloc.

The decision is contained in a communique issued following a 3-day high level strategic dialogue between ECOWAS, West African private sector tourism stakeholders and experts in Abuja on Thursday.

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According to the communique, the meeting recommends that the private tourism sector should formulate a request for funding for the activities of ECOTOUR 19-29 Country Operational Units to the ECOWAS Commission.

It also recommended that the private tourism sector should generate funds from Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs) with a view to implementing a robust and sustainable regional tourism for economic growth.

The communique also urged the private tourism sector to identify and seek the support of technical and financial partners (TFPs) to support private tourism sector.

It further recommended that the private tourism sector should initiate and sign a partnership agreement between it and the ECOWAS Commission.

The communique also recommended that ECOWAS Member States should provide national classification commissions and structures in charge of resource regulation.

It also urged them to organize awareness-raising sessions for industry stakeholders on the new regulations.

The communique also recommended that the ECOWAS Commission

should organize capacity building sessions for national classification commissions and regulatory structures.

It also recommended that Member States should establish harmonized tourism satellite accounts, as well as transmit and make available the new regulations for their individual countries.

The communique also recommended that the ECOWAS Commission should conduct a mid-term evaluation of ECOTOUR 19-29.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the communique was signed by Mrs. Ruth Ndam, Director, Hospitality and Travel Trade, Nigerian Tourism Development Authority.

Others are Mr Boka Georges, President, Hotel Ranking Commission of Côte d’Ivoire, and Mr Massa Cande, Director General of Tourism of Guinea Bissau. (NAN)

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