Press Release

UNWTO hosts the presentation of the UNCTAD Report on Tourism as a Driver of Transformative and Inclusive Growth in Africa

PR No.: 
PR 17086
07 Jul 17

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has partnered with UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Development and Trade, to present the Annual Report on Economic Development in Africa at UNWTO’s Headquarters in Madrid. The 2017 edition focuses on Tourism as a catalyst for Transformative and Inclusive Growth in the continent and underlines the immense potential of the sector. 

A flourishing economic sector responsible for 21 million jobs – 1 out of 14 -. This is how the UNCTAD Report on ‘Economic Development in Africa: Tourism as a catalyst for Transformative and Inclusive Growth’ describes tourism in Africa. The document also recalls that tourism represents around 46% of all service exports in Africa.

Together with a detailed analyses of the economic impact of tourism in Africa, the publication includes a number of policy recommendations such as the fostering tourism development to bridge the gaps with rural areas and as a driving force to reduce poverty.  

“The power of tourism is not only related to big figures in economic terms, but also in its impact on inclusiveness, gender equality, recovery processes after conflict and peace,” said Claudia Roethlisberger, Economist at UNCTAD who has participated in the development of the Report.

The Report compiles data from 1995-1998 and 2011-2014 and highlights the progress from 24 to 56 million international tourist arrivals in the continent, as well as the evolution from 14 USD billion to 47 billion USD dollars in exports from international tourism. At present, tourism is estimated by UNCTAD to be responsible for the 8.5% of the GDP in the continent.

“The UNCTAD “Economic Development in Africa Report 2017: Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth” represents an outstanding research work around key issues for UNWTO and our African Member States and UNCTAD should be praised for this initiative in the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017” said UNWTO Executive Director for Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations,  Márcio Favilla.

Additional information

Link to the report

UNWTO Africa Programme

International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Photos of the Event


UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gomez Sobrino

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 /

UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218 /