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Interview: Senegalese Tourism Counselor Says Africa Increasingly Important in Global Tourism
  ·2017-09-15

Africa is playing an increasingly important role in global tourism, while Senegal is taking the opportunity to attract more tourists, Abdoulaya Ndiaye, technique counselor to the Senegalese tourism minister, has said.

"Africa is an increasingly important force in the global tourism market. The continent is rich in cultural and wildlife resources, while it has majestic scenery," Ndiaye said.

Africa is taking advantage of its wildlife resources to create its unique tourism products, while more and more people are attracted to Africa as they search for different experiences and lifestyles.

"It is a global trend that more and more people are travelling in Africa," Ndiaye said, adding that this is becoming part of African people's life.

He said Senegal is stepping up its infrastructure construction in order to provide better service and make travel in Africa more convenient for tourists around the world.

At the ongoing 22nd general assembly of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Ndiaye told Xinhua Wednesday that they hoped to help the world hear Africa and Senegal's voice during the assembly.

"We think this assembly plays a crucial role in strengthening the development of global tourism," the counselor said.

Of all 44 African countries attending the gathering, 36 of them sent their ministers in charge of tourism, "which showed the African countries value this chance very much," Ndiaye said.

According to UNWTO statistics, the global tourism industry has kept its positive growth for seven consecutive years at an average rate of four percent. Africa's growth rate in the first six months of 2017 has reached eight percent, among the countries enjoying the strongest tourism growth in the world.

Based on Africa's exceptional tourism resources, regional organizations like the African Union help to accelerate the free movement of people inside the continent, Ndiaye said.

"The tourism industry has entered a stage that, like it or not, everyone is involved in travelling," Ndiaye said. "Tourism is becoming a global production chain, greatly supporting the world industry."

Ndiaye praised the high-level bilateral relationship between Senegal and China, expressing the hope that more and more Chinese tourists could come to the West African country.

"We are improving our tourism service by strengthening infrastructure and coordinating with other countries," said Ndiaye, promising that direct airlines would be built between every tourist destination in Senegal to make travel easier.

There would also be more travel products and routes in Senegal designed to promote the sustainable development of tourism, while every African country would do its utmost to improve the tourism connectivity inside the continent, as well as to link Africa with other regions in the world, Ndiaye said.

More than 1,000 delegates, including tourism ministers from more than 130 countries and regions, are gathering in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu to discuss the development of global tourism, as well as the sustainable growth of the tourism industry.

(Xinhua News Agency, September 14, 2017) 

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