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World’s two fastest growing tourism regions renew cooperation

The Pacific Asia Travel Association and the Africa Travel Association enhance their tourism partnership

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Africa Travel Association (ATA) officially renewed their partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding strengthening cooperation in developing the visitor economies of the two fastest growing regions in the world.

The MOU commits the two regional travel trade associations to share knowledge through research and publications, to reciprocate participation in meetings and events, to support mutual advocacy positions, and to enhance two-way marketing and market access.

“The rise of Africa as an inbound and outbound tourism force is well documented,” said Martin Craigs, PATA Chief Executive Officer. “Closer cooperation with Africa on tourism will bring many benefits not just to PATA members, but to African tourism stakeholders too.”

Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director, said: “We are pleased to renew this important partnership between ATA and PATA. It will boost connections and business opportunities for travel and tourism between Africa and Asia.” 

According to PATAmPOWER statistics, the number of Africans visiting Asia reached 797,000 in the first nine months of 2013, a rise of 3.3% over 2012.

United Nations World Tourism Organization statistics show very strong tourism growth for both regions. There were 63.6 million international visitor arrivals to the African continent in 2012, compared to 233.6 million in Asia Pacific. International tourism receipts for Africa reached US$43.6 billion in 2012 compared to US$323 billion in Asia Pacific. Among emerging economy destinations in both regions there were stellar performers in 2012 – for example Thailand (+25%), India (+22%), and Vietnam (+18%). In Africa, some of the top performers with double-digit growth were South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Madagascar.

The renewal of the MoU between the two associations builds on PATA's contribution to ATA’s Africa Tourism Monitor. For the latest edition, PATAmPOWER provided data on the top five African nations that Chinese nationals visited in 2012: Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia, Algeria and Keyna.

Through the activities outlined in the agreement, both organizations intend to mutually support their respective associations to encourage the sustainable development of tourism as a means of promoting international understanding and appreciation of their respective cultures.

This MOU is the fourth such agreement signed between the two organizations. Previous agreements were signed in 2005, 2008, and 2010.

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