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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Civil Organization (ICAO) and the Government of the Seychelles are organizing the first-ever UNWTO/ICAO Ministerial Conference on Tourism and Air Transport in Africa. The conference is open to the participation of UNWTO/ICAO Member States, UNWTO affiliate members, invited delegates, as well as to representatives of the tourism and air transport industry.
The attached Concept note describes the symbiotic relationship between aviation and tourism at the global level in the respective mandates of ICAO and UNWTO. While ICAO sets standards and policies for aviation safety, security, efficiency, environmental protection and the economic development of air transport, UNTWO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth and sustainable development, offering leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
The development of tourism and air transport in Africa still faces a number of hindrances. Issues such as infrastructure funding, enhancement of air connectivity, market liberalization, taxation, travel facilitation and cross-cultural dimension are of a vital importance to the development of the continent. A collective and effective strategy addressing these challenges will enable both tourism and air transport industries to stimulate growth of the overall economy and create many opportunities for employment and welfare.
The conference will identify debate on the way forward for the development of a framework that links up tourism and air transport in view of establishing converging policies in the key areas identified above. Expert panel discussions will deliver high-level inputs which will then be considered by the Ministerial participants. These discussions will take place in the context of the historic milestone represented by this combined UNWTO/ICAO Ministerial event, and the strong recognition of the Luanda Declaration on Tourism and Air Transport Connectivity which was developed earlier this year at the 56th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa.
Accordingly, UNWTO and ICAO are committed to join their efforts towards the common goal of sustainable development by integrating all the three pillars of sustainability: Social; Environmental; and Economic.