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African tourism in brief.

China grants Nigeria tourist destination status

In February, the Chinese government granted Africa's most populous country, Nigeria, tourist destination status. Nigeria joins 25 other countries in Africa that have achieved this status.

With the decision of the Chinese government to extend the Approved Destination Status (ADS) to a further nine African countries including Algeria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda, Mali, Mozambique, Benin and Nigeria, there are now 26 ADS countries in Africa.

The number of Chinese tourists to Africa reached 110,000 in 2005, doubling the 2004 figure, according to the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of China's Public Security Ministry.

Chinese tourists can get visas to African countries within seven working days, according to Lin Bo, an executive with China International Travel Service, the Country's largest travel service provider.

Chinese travellers are now allowed to visit 132 countries worldwide. Spending by Chinese tourists abroad rose by 16% to an estimated $25.3bn in 2006. Official figures also show Chinese tourists will generate about $94bn in revenues by 2020.

S Africa looks to Gulf

Senior officials from South Africa's departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism visited the Gulf region last month. The delegation, which also included representatives from the country's DTI visited Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A string of one to one meetings and workshops on tourism, as well as trade and investment opportunities, were specifically designed to raise awareness of investment opportunities in South Africa.

The visit is also part of South African Tourism's larger strategy to promote tourism as the country prepares to host the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup.

UAE invests in Ethiopia

Oromia region in Ethiopia and the Indus Investment company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has agreed to construct a $1.47bn 'Tourist City' that is set to boost this region's development and provide some 12,000 jobs.

Chief of the Oromia State Abadula Gemeda and Indus Investment's CEO, Ahmed Hilal Al Falahi, said the development of the city, the first of its kind in the country, would be constructed on 38,197ha in the Abiyata Shalla area and include an airport, school, business centre and hotels. Construction is set to commence almost immediately.

Uganda begins grading hotels

The grading of hotels to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is underway, according to Uganda's state minister for tourism, Serapio Rukundo. Attending a weeklong meeting of the Hotel Internal Assessors' Quality Assurance training programme held in Kampala last January, Rukundo said the first phase of the grading exercise should be completed by the end of this month. Hotels still under construction would be graded in June and July.

The Uganda Hotel Owners Association's executive director Ismail Sekandi said that hotel owners and managers are more than ready for the exercise although some hotels, he conceded, needed assistance to meet the deadlines.
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Title Annotation:Travel and Tourism in Africa; in briefs
Comment:African tourism in brief.(Travel and Tourism in Africa)(in briefs)
Publication:African Business
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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