UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa: Tourism Bouncing Back

The 66th Meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa was held under the theme: Rethinking Tourism For Africa: Addressing Global Challenges and Promoting Investment and Partnerships.

66th UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa

At the 66th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa, held between July 26 and 28, 2023, Member States joined representatives from international organisations and the private sector to focus on opportunities around tourism jobs and investments while also recognising the vital need to address challenges, including the climate crisis.

Tourism in Africa: Bouncing Back

According to the latest UNWTO data, tourism across Africa is returning to strength following the unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic.

International arrivals across Africa were back to 88% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of the first quarter of this year.


At the sub-regional level, North Africa is performing particularly strongly, with arrivals 4% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Globally, international tourism receipts reached USD 1 billion in 2022, a 50% growth in real terms compared to 2021. Among African destinations with available data, Morocco and Mauritius notably exceeded their 2019 tourism receipts in the first quarter of 2023.

Members meet in Mauritius

UNWTO welcomed delegations from 33 countries to the meeting, including Ministers of Tourism, Deputy Ministers and Ambassadors. The meeting was attended by high-level political figures and focused on core priorities for tourism Africa.

Tourism Investments

UNWTO presented a new set of Investment Guidelines for Mauritius, designed to connect investors with tourism projects in the country. The Guidelines follow on from similar publications focused on Tanzania, with editions for other African countries in development.

Gender Equality and Youth Empowerment

Members were advised on the progress of the UNWTO Women in Tourism Leadership for Africa Committee and the Organization’s focus on education and training. Key achievements include a summit in Zambia and plans to open an International Academy in Nigeria.

Advocating for ‘Brand Africa’

An update on UNWTO’s work to empower African tourism professionals to take charge of the narrative was provided to members, including through Think Tank Dialogues and plans for a Media Training Workshop.