World Tourism Day 2016 and the African Development Bank

The travel and tourism industry is recognizing World Tourism Day. Founded in 1980 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), each year World Tourism Day brings together the global tourism community to highlight a significant theme with implications for destinations large, small, cosmopolitan, and rural, on every continent.

This year’s theme, “tourism for all, promoting universal accessibility,” touches on one of the most salient tenets of travel – mobility and inclusivity. According to the UNWTO, “accessible tourism for all is about creating products and services that can equally be enjoyed by persons with disabilities, tourists and locals, families with small children, seniors and everyone else.” According to 2015 UNWTO figures, Africa welcomed 62.6 international tourists, a decline of 2.7 million from the year prior, yet there is no greater region with the potential to boost accessibility for local, regional, and international visitors than in Africa. And in 2016, we have seen tremendous strides in making Africa a more accessible destination.

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