Abidjan hosted World Tourism Day on September 27, 2021, the first since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ability to take inventory after the emergence of a virus that founded aircraft for months, closed borders and generated a global cost of $ 4,000 billion, according to the UN. In 2020, the number of travelers decreased by 75% and almost 100 million jobs were destroyed in the sector.
as reported from Abidjan, Pierre Pinto
In Abidjan, therefore, professionals met to work on the solutions to be found, not only for the period after Covid-19, but also while waiting for the pandemic to end. In regions where tourism was already dying, for example in Sahelan countries, due to terrorism, Covid was the coup, especially for hotels in capitals.
“It was a real slaughter for the sector. In Niger, tourism is 6.5% of GDP. There are about 200 hotel facilities and about 11,000 people work in the tourism sector. We have spent two-thirds on technical unemployment, “said Mahamadou Laouel Kader, president of the National Association of Tourism and Hotel Professionals in Niger (ANPTH).
Reconsidering local tourism For these African professionals, salvation is more than ever inside the development of local tourism: “Niger has many opportunities in this direction to get the middle class not to go outside, to stay with us, it pays off. It is even beyond the tourist economy as a whole that we need to rethink. ”
The same observation in the Ivory Coast where the tourism hotel sector lost 70% of its turnover in 2020. “We must develop internal tourism, national tourism. It must be a top priority. In any case, the large countries that France first developed its local tourism, Morocco did the same “, estimates Mamadou Diomandé, president of the Federation of the Tourism Industry in Ivory Coast (Fenitourci).
In this context, the lag in the countries in the region in terms of the proportion of vaccinated is an additional obstacle that must be combated, these professionals say: “As president, I already have my two doses to be an example to my people. members. Otherwise, we are afraid that our facilities will be closed again, adds Mamadou Diomandé.
We have seen a drastic decline in attendance.
Siandou Fofana, Ivorian Minister of Tourism