27th October, 2011
The UNWTO has joined with eight of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) to assess their tourism development needs. The UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD), held in Switzerland, joined with tourism, finance and trade ministries from Benin, Burundi, Cambodia, Comoros, Lesotho, Maldives, Sao Tome and Principe and Uganda, to learn how to better work together to maximise the countries’ tourism potential and identify funding sources.
“Tourism is one of the few economic sectors through which LDCs have managed to increase their participation in the global economy,” said Márcio Favilla, executive director at UNWTO. “The multiplier effect of tourism is also particularly effective in the LDCs, where tourism expenditure generates additional flows of revenue and consumption for other branches of the economy such as agriculture, local fisheries, handicrafts and the furniture and construction industries”.
International tourist arrivals in the world’s 48 LDCs grew from six million in 2000 to more than 17 million in 2010, while international tourism receipts climbed from £1.8 billion to in excess of £6.25 billion.
The UN workshop allowed the countries to learn more about how to develop their tourism strategies and action plans, as well as leveraging human and financial resources.
It is now expected that the LDCs will be able to prepare project proposals by the end of 2011, for approval and endorsement by mid-2012.