Indian Ocean Countries Eye Post-Pandemic Tourism Recovery

Indian Ocean Countries Eye Post-Pandemic Tourism Recovery

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, May 4 (NNN-PINA) – Member countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) are meeting in Balaclava, Mauritius, for a three-day workshop, which started yesterday, on the development of tourism, after the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is imperative to rethink tourism, to make it a more inclusive, sustainable, equitable, and resilient sector, in the context of global challenges, said Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister, Louis Steven Obeegadoo, who also serves as minister of tourism.

Obeegadoo spoke of the challenges facing tourism as a result of COVID-19, while noting that public and private partnerships have enabled the industry to recover from the pandemic, and that the recovery rate is expected to be over 80 percent this year, in his country.

Highlighting other challenges, such as climate change and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which are disrupting global supply chains, as well as, the increasing number of viral pandemics, the deputy prime minister spoke of the need to learn from the pandemic, to make the industry more resilient.

Referring to tourism as a key to economic growth and recovery, he stressed the importance of nature-based tourism, in promoting sustainability and resilience.

Rajib Tripura, acting secretary general of the IORA, reiterated the association’s commitment to promoting tourism and cultural exchange, saying, the IORA will continue to facilitate, coordinate, monitor, and implement projects, policy documents, and work programmes to promote regional cooperation for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region.

Dirk Glaesser, director of the Sustainable Development of Tourism Programme, at the World Tourism Organisation, called for a change in approach to the detection of communicable and emerging diseases, for a more resilient and sustainable tourism industry.

The exchange of individual best practices during the workshop, as well as, the sharing of lessons learned from the pandemic, will help to improve and guide the sector, he added.

The workshop is attended by around 50 senior local and international IORA officials. It provides an opportunity to understand how nature-based tourism can be seen as a solution, by identifying tools and mechanisms for sustainable development. It also serves as a platform to share experiences from different countries and discuss the challenges ahead.– NNN-PINA


Related Articles