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06.11.2018

Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development calls for tourism industry action

Photo: Minister Gerd Müller © German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

“The tourism industry should do much more to promote tourism to Africa and other developing regions of the globe to create jobs while supporting sustainability”, said German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, at this year’s DRV (German Travel Association) conference in Reggio di Calabria in Italy.

“Tourism is an important job creator in poorer countries, especially for women”, the minister, who was returning from a trip to Tunisia, told some 600 conference participants. “In Africa 10 % of GDP is generated through tourism,” he said. “The aim should be to double this share over the next 10 years.”

The minister highlighted positive examples from Africa, where “massive development” is currently taking place, such as Kigali, the capital of Ruanda, which is becoming “the Singapore of Africa” with an ultra-modern conference centre and a high-performance mobile communications network.

Minister Müller emphasised that tourism has to develop “in harmony with people, animals and nature”. In particular, this means that tourism should benefit the local population, with local workers earning “living wages” and protection for local culture. Müller also urged the travel industry to act decisively against sex tourism and the exploitation of young people.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has selected five African countries – Tunisia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo and Morocco – as ‘reform partners’.

In Tunisia, the DRV is cooperating with the ministry to develop tourism to the country by supporting local partner associations. Müller and DRV Vice-President Stefanie Berk (Head of Thomas Cook Germany) last week signed a three-year cooperation agreement with local organisations in Tunis that could involve €1 million in German government funding.

“We want to put tourism in Tunisia on less crisis-prone legs,” stated DRV President Norbert Fiebig. Key objectives are to create more jobs for young people in the country, improve the tourism infrastructure and develop sustainable tourism offerings.

Further information: http://www.bmz.de/en/issues/wirtschaft/nachhaltige_wirtschaftsentwicklung/sustainable_tourism/index.html

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