African media urged to tone down politics, promote tourism
An executive of the Africa Travel Association (ATA), Ogo Sow has taken Africa’s media to task for dwelling too much on politics and downplaying promotion of the tourism sector, which could bring in billions of US dollars in revenues to the continent.
“What we see is only politics, bashing each other 24-7. They are not promoting the country…We Africans are destroying our own continent, our own image here,” Sow claimed in an interview with West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) based in Dakar Senegal.
Sow, who is popularly called, “Mr Africa Live” is himself a radio Journalist. He's also Advisor to the ATA on Diaspora Affairs and is living in Atlanta, USA. His radio shows feature news, in-depth interviews, and African music and can be heard in English, French, Creole and Wolof.
Sow, a Senegalese national, said Africa has vast tourism potentials, ranging from Eco, cultural, beach, business tourism, etc. but regretted that they were not being fully exploited and developed.
According to the World Tourism Rankings put together by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), no African country was listed in the top ten tourism destinations in 2011. It says in 2011 there were 983 million international tourists who arrived in those destinations from around the world, as compared to 940 million in 2010, representing a growth of 4.6%.
International tourist arrivals in Africa in 2011 were 50.17 million, representing an increase of just 0.9% as compared to 2010, the UNWTO said.
The top ten African destinations in 2011 and 2010 were: Morocco 9.34 million; South Africa 8.34 million; Tunisia 4.78 million; Algeria, 2.74 million; Zimbabwe 2.24 million; Botswana 2.15 million; Mozambique 1.72 million; Nigeria 1.56 million; Kenya 1.47 million; and Nambia 0.98 million.
But how can Africa reap the utmost benefits from its vast tourism potentials and how can the hurdles be removed?
Ogo Sow provides some answers in this interview with WADR’s Frank Sainworla.
Click audio below to listenTweet