Tourism has a key role to play in spurring on sustainable development in Africa, a gathering of industry leaders has been told.
The continent's vast amount of natural beauty is one of the main reasons international tourists visit Africa, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) secretary-general Taleb Rifai told the audience at the First Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism in African National Parks.
The conference was attended by tourism ministers, tourism private sector representatives and conservation officials.
Rifai went on to talk about the positive impact of tourists visiting Africa for luxury holidays and safaris on local employment and conservation.
"These tourists spend in the local economy, sustain jobs, and provide an incentive for conservation, making tourism a powerful engine for sustainable development," the secretary-general added.
The First Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism in African National Parks was convened by the UNWTO and the Tanzanian government.
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