Somalia could give its Eastern Africa neighbours a run for their money in tourism business if its internal conflict and piracy problems are contained, a UN report on regional sustainable tourism shows.
The report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa titled a study on the challenges and opportunities for tourism development says the country has the largest coastal belt in Africa, architectural heritage and beautiful pristine beaches that are great for tourism.
The report which was compiled last year but released officially last week however notes that war, perceptions of poor governance and Islamic fundamentalism and piracy have hampered the development of Somalia as a tourism destination.
“Somalia tourism also includes the landmark of Shanghai old city. Presently controlled by the warlords and the wealthy businessmen, the city is known for its scenic beauty and the old architectural heritage,” states the report in part.
“Another most sought after sightseeing spot in Somalia tourism is the Sinbusi beach, which is situated about five kilometres away from the city of Merca,” added the report.
The report lists some of the key untapped tourism business opportunities like eco-tourism, culture and cruise; expansion of air and water transportation; fairly modern and affordable ICT infrastructure.
Relative stability in Somaliland and Puntland have also been listed as major entry areas in the exploitation of Somalia’s tourism business. By virtue of offering similar tourist attractions, the report recommends a unified approach to Eastern Africa’s tourism development under the umbrella of a regional integration. It further suggests the development of an Eastern Africa tourism master plan.
Adoption of an open skies policy in which even low budget airlines can easily operate flights within the region’s countries and adoption of a single tourist visa have also been proposed to drive growth for the sector.
This article was posted by Neptune Maritime Security via bar-kulan.com. MaritimeSecurity.Asia in cooperation with www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com