Minister Balala, Jumia Travel Boss to Discuss Technology in the Upcoming UNWTO Convention in Madrid

Event will also mark the presentation of this year’s theme, that seeks to promote sustainable development tourism.

Nairobi, 11th January, 2017: Tourism Minister Hon. Najib Balala and Jumia Travel CEO, Paul Midy are part of the African ministerial panel that will spearhead the roundtable discussion on ‘Technology and design of new touristic products’, to be hosted during the The Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR) at the upcoming International Tourism Fair in Spain (FITUR),

The annual event, scheduled to take place between January 18th to 22nd in Madrid, will also mark among other distinguished activities, the official presentation of The Year of Sustainable Development Tourism 2017, as declared by the UNWTO

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development owing to the sector’s potential to contribute to, and aid in the realization and achievement of the well spelt out 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Agenda is described as a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity and is expected to build on the Millennium Development Goals and strive to achieve what the latter has not accomplished thus far.

Reiterating the sector’s remarkable 10% contribution to the global GDP, the Jumia head honcho, Paul Midy, also acknowledged the 2015 UNWTO report on the impact on employment thus, “accounting for one in every eleven job’s, the potential in tourism cannot be ignored, as it serves a vital role purpose in achieving freedom, human dignity, and poverty eradication”. Midy is also scheduled to join other invited ministers from across the continent on a ministerial luncheon as well as participate in a debate where aspects touching on the potential of tourism in MENA region (Middle East and Africa) will be examined.

A second important discussion during the INVESTOUR will focus on Capacity development for youth and women in tourism. Other activities will include the 13th Edition of the UNWTO Awards on Innovation and Excellence in Tourism, which will be preceded by an Awards Forum in which the twelve top projects shortlisted to head the year’s initiative will be presented.

Commenting on the launch of the UNWTO declaration, the outgoing Secretary General, Tareb Rifai observed that, “This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible and committed tourism sector that can capitalize its immense potential in terms of economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation”.

The Year of Sustainable Tourism Development largely seeks to promote five key areas through collaboration by stakeholders across the globe. These include resource efficiency mainly touching on environmental protection and climate change, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, social inclusiveness which aims at job creation and poverty eradication, promotion of cultural values and bolstering mutual understanding in a bid to promote peace and security.

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