ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, 02 May 2019 – Ivorian Minister of Tourism Siandou Fofana has revealed a strategy document aimed at making Côte d’Ivoire Africa’s fifth biggest tourism destination from 2025 onward.
The document entitled ‘Sublime Côte d’Ivoire’ aims to invest $5.8‑billion on nine new flagship projects. One of these is the ‘Abidjan Business City’, which will be a central point for holding conventions in the country.
“We do not currently have a conference centre and we do not have a hall with the capacity to accommodate 5,000 people. There is, therefore, a need to move quickly in that regard,” said Minister Fofana.
“We will also have a ‘beautiful beach for all’, with a 550-km coastline that has yet to be exploited. In addition, we will build a 100-hectare leisure park to be a place of entertainment for the sub-region, and develop press trips and seven flagship tourist areas,” Fofana added.
Projects envisaged under the strategy include strengthening of the tourism code, establishing additional tourist attractions with a land reserve of 6,000 hectares, the creation of a bank of tourism-sector projects and redesigning of a tourism ‘one-stop shop’.
The Côte d’Ivoire government also plans to strengthen security and health care, develop the aviation sector and increase airport passenger flow to three million, and train and certify 230,000 sector professionals.
“All this will drive employment and our intention is to create 375,000 new jobs. From 2025, we plan to welcome four to five million tourists, (there were 3.08 million tourist arrivals in 2016 and 3.47 million in 2017), to make this sector the fourth economic pillar of the country and to make Côte d’Ivoire the fifth biggest tourism power on the continent and the joint leader in African business tourism,” said Fofana.
The Côte d’Ivoire tourism strategy plan was presented by Minister Fofana to the African Development Bank Vice-President responsible for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Pierre Guislain, at the banks’ headquarters in Abidjan on 25 April 2019.