Press Room

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recently stated that countries  which  are  able  to  build  a tourism  destination  brand would  be  those  countries  that are  best  in  exploiting  the great  untapped potentials  in  the  tourism market.

The Executive Secretary of Member-Relations and Regional Director for the Americas of the UNWTO, Mr. Carlos Vogeler made this known at the 2015 West Africa Culture and Tourism Ariya Expo. He addressed participants at the seminar focusing on three key issues relating to destination branding in Africa that he said would boost tourism development in the region.

This year, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) is collaborating with the West Africa Tourism (WAT) organisation to develop easy travel for tourists within the West African region. This underscores the core initiative of the WAT in its promotion of West Africa as a destination of choice.

The Chief Executive officer of WAT noted that the WAT team has worked tirelessly to ensure that it is a one-stop shop for information regarding West Africa at the 2016 Expo. ‘‘In the past one year, we have reached out to scores of tourism ministries and departments of government and privately run tourism/travel organisations towards achieving our plans to push tourism in West Africa further in its journey,’’ she said.

From day one at the Expo on Monday 7th November 2016, attendees will be given a taste of West Africa’s splendour in physical resources and wealth in human capital at the World Trade Market Exhibition stand of WAT. ECOWAS will introduce their recently concluded regional tourism policy, whilst officials of tourism boards from countries that exhibit with the WAT will provide the attendees with information of any kind regarding tourist attractions and investment opportunities that abound in West Africa.

The theme of the 2016 WAT outing is West Africa Connects - Introducing ECOWAS Regional Tourism Policy. The efforts being made by governments, travel/tourism organisations and individuals operating in the private sector as well as other organisations within the region to promote tourism potentials by consolidating on structures and facilities in each country, will be discussed by participants at the Lunch Press Conference session billed for Monday 7th November at the Novotel Hotel London Excel in London. The deliberations will especially shed light on how to promote tourism potentials using a platform that will strengthen cooperation among tourism stakeholders of different countries in the region.

Lying just off the western coast of Africa, the diminutive islands of São Tomé and Príncipe remain unspoilt by mass tourism, making the former Portuguese colony a perfect place for holiday adventure and independent travellers. Immerse yourself in local culture as you explore misty rainforests, deserted white-sand beaches, and crumbling plantations.

Between 1482 and 1786, a myriad of castles and forts were erected along the over 500 kilometer-long coastline of Ghana between Keta in the East and Beyin in the west. Back then, Ghana was called the Gold Coast due to its vast quantities of gold, and these strongholds served as fortified trading posts offering protection from other foreign settlers and threats from the African population. Placed strategically as links in the trade routes established by the Portuguese in the 15th century, who were the first settlers on the Gold Coast, the forts thereafter were seized, attacked, exchanged, sold and abandoned during almost four centuries of struggle between European powers for domination over the Gold Coast.

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