24 May

UNWTO and ATA Discuss Ways to Cooperate with Tourism Development

BANJUL, THE GAMBIA, May 20, 2010 – – The United Nations Tourism Organization attended the Africa Travel Association’s 35th Annual Congress at the Sheraton Hotel Spa and Resort in The Gambia from May 17-20, 2010. More than 300 participants from Africa, Europe and North America, as well as the press, also attended the travel trade conference.

During the industry plenaries and networking events, ATA and UNWTO engaged in discussions on how the two global organizations would pursue collaboration and cooperation in the areas of travel and tourism development in Africa in the future.

ATA Executive Director Edward Bergman said, “We are pleased that UNWTO participated in our Gambia congress and we look forward to continuing discussions with the UN agency on how to build a case for tourism in Africa.”

Mr. Bergman went on to say “We are especially pleased that this discussion takes place in parallel to our discussions with the Africa Union on how we can promote travel, tourism and hospitality to “Destination Africa.”

Mr. Helder Tomas from the UNWTO Regional Program for Africa participated in the event on behalf of UNWTO. He arrived in The Gambia immediately following the 50th UNWTO Commission for Africa Meeting in Algiers, Algeria from May 17-19, 2010.

Mr. Tomas stressed the importance of the cooperation between the public and the private sectors for the development of tourism in Africa and the need for the sector to start speaking with one voice for the benefit of the industry.

The ATA Congress was hosted by The Gambian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Gambian Hotel Association, and other Gambian stakeholders, including private and public sector members of the ATA Chapter in The Gambia.

“As a member state of UNWTO and as member of ATA, The Gambia is putting forth a strong proposal for the development of joint collaboration between the two organizations,” said Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Kaliba Senghore.

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