Some tourism stakeholders have called on African leaders to put measures in place in boosting seamless travels across the West African region.
The stakeholders spoke during the launch of Destination West Africa Project (DWAP) in Lagos on Friday.
DWAP focuses on improving intra-Africa travel as well as tourism and some other objectives.
Mrs Nneka Isaac-Moses and Managing Director, Goge Africa, stated this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.
One of the stakeholders, George Uriesi, Chief Operating Officer, Ibom Air, expressed displeasure over how expensive travelling within the West Africa region had become.
Uriesi said that it was disheartening to know that travelling to Gambia within Africa was more expensive than going to the the United Arab Emirates.
He said governments across West Africa must wade into this by easing visa procurement process, reducing cost of travels and other measures to ensure seamless travels within the region.
Also, Chief Wanle Akinboboye, Chief Executive Officer, La Campagne Tropicana, emphasised on the need for tourism operators across West Africa to work unanimously in projecting the West African dance, music, culture and arts.
Akinboboye urged tourism practitioners to leverage the acquatic tourism endowment across West Africa, saying that 804 kilometres of beach area remains untouched in the city of Lagos.
He said this would spur travels within the West African region as Africans would see reasons to move around the region.
“Tourism stakeholders across West Africa must begin the process of coming together in unity, the only way we can have an advantage is to take advantage of our dance, music, culture and arts.
“We should know that challenges are there for us to be surmounted,” he said.
An Art Collector, Yemisi Shyllon, advised countries across the region to design festival maps peculiar to the region so that tourists could be intimated of happenings across the region.
“This will ensure that tourists have prior knowledge of what they want to experience in each city of the region, it will also encourage visit to the region.
“I want us all to believe in our culture, be proud of our culture to give it the desired projection,” he said.
Samata Bukari, Ghanaian Consul General, noted that the West Africa region was well endowed with lots of tourism potential like natural waterfall, parks, wildlife and more.
Bukari said with these potential, the region could be the global tourism hub, urging governments to address every challenge that hinders seamless travels across theregion.
“Tourism is quite an important sector to the economy of the entire African continent, we should work in unity to improve the sector,” she said.
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