Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will travel to West Africa this week for a working visit to Ghana and Nigeria to enhance networking opportunities.

The Minister will spend two days in Accra, attending the First UNWTO Presidential Leadership Taskforce on Women Empowerment in Tourism Sector with Focus on Africa, where she will be part of a discussion panel under the theme ‘Tourism policies to enable gender equality’.

The forum, hosted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), will debate proposals and activities geared to promoting women’s empowerment and leadership in the African region, including funding.

The meeting is also expected to receive a report on the second edition of the Global Report on Women in Tourism.

Tourism is one of the key economic sectors with the potential to contribute to greater equality and empowerment of women and is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors accounting for 10% of GDP and jobs globally.

The Minister will also interact with tour operators, media and broad stakeholders in the tourism value chain in Ghana, West Africa’s second largest economy.

The minister will then lead a delegation to Nigeria for a further two-day engagement with tourism stakeholders and trade, as well as media.

The roadshow will provide a networking opportunity and let the Minister position South Africa as a destination of choice for West Africans who would like to travel for business, leisure and other related activities.

Through interaction with tourism stakeholders, including tour operators and the media, the Minister will gain better insights on how the South African tourism industry can be more responsive to the needs of West African travellers.

This visit forms part of the work toward increasing the number of international tourist arrivals from Africa and the rest of the world.