Kagesheki meets Rifai to discuss preparations for Pan African Tourism Conference


Tanzania’s tourism minister Amb. Khamis Kagesheki has earlier this week met with UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai in Madrid, his first such visit since being appointed to replace his hapless predecessor a few months ago.

UNWTO will hold its inaugural ‘Pan African Conference on Sustainable Tourism’ in Arusha between the 15th and 18th of October, according to a source at UNWTO a ‘sign of confidence in Tanzania’s future as a major tourism destination’.

Kagesheki, who swiftly established a reputation as a no nonsense minister who believe in dialogue with the private sector and hands on action, briefed the UNWTO Secretary General and his senior staff about the level of preparations for the conference, which will start in three weeks time. Several hundred participants from across Africa’s leading tourism nations will be joined by international experts and the global media to discuss the ‘green way forward’ for global tourism and in particular for tourism in Africa, where the challenges but also opportunities for nature and wildlife based tourism will be discussed in detail. Both private and public sectors will be present, permitting an exchange of views on tourism and environmental policies, legislative approached to govern the sector and related issues like infrastructure, Visa policies, access by airlines to the main entry points and beyond but also the often dented image as a result of incidents involving tourists.

Many African countries, including host nation Tanzania, suffer from limited resources, population and economic pressures to exploit mineral resource within protected areas and have of late seen an unprecedented onslaught of commercial poaching for ivory and rhino horn, threatening the very survival of key game species without which safari tourism, the way we know it now, will find it difficult to survive.

Watch this space for updates on this important event.