African air transport cost remains a barrier to tourism growth – Kagame

President Paul Kagame said the high cost of air travel to Africa and within Africa remains a barrier to the growth of the tourism sector, which calls for the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

He was speaking at the official opening of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2023, on November 2, which convened more tthan1,200 participants in the global tourism industry to recognize the sector’s growth across the continent in recent years and at the same time analyze its challenges.

The three-day summit, which kicked off on November 1, is for the first time taking place in Africa, and it was hosted in Kigali, under the theme ‘Building Bridges to a Sustainable Future’, to discuss the resilience and sustainable growth, the growing impact of AI, and understanding new and emerging markets, as well as cover the key challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

In his opening remarks, Kagame said that in the commitment to rebuild from the horrific past nearly 30 years ago, Rwanda identified tourism as a key driver of economic growth earlier on, and the results have not been disappointing.

“Every year, we welcome so many visitors who come to Rwanda to enjoy the unique natural beauty, attend sporting events, or participate in gatherings like this. This is a privilege and a trust that we don’t take for granted,” he said.

He gave examples of conservation efforts to build a more sustainable future which have yielded in recognition of Nyungwe National Park as a world heritage site, adding that the country is also investing in the infrastructure and skills to host major sports events such as the Basketball Africa League.

While the travel and tourism industry has recovered strongly globally, Kagame pointed out that the high cost of air travel to Africa and within Africa remains a barrier and the implementation of SAATM is an important priority.









Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.