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Togo: Attracting about 500,000 tourists in 2020

Togo works relentlessly , to revive the tourism sector ,third foreign exchange earner in the country after phosphates and cash crops (coffee, cocoa, cotton). In order to revitalize the sector, the Togolese State has launched very recently  a new tourism marketing strategy to attract about 500,000 tourists by 2020. This ambitious project will, according to the Togolese authorities, diversify products and services related to tourism to the benefit of all the other countries of industries.

A new marketing strategy for the tourism relaunch

Like its immediate neighbors, Togo boost its tourism sector through several programs. After the national policy adopted and funded to the tune of 319,000 dollars by the United Nations Development Program  (UNDP), in 2011, the government has also launched the preparation of a « master plan  of development and planning « of the sector. The plan aims to define a coherent framework that sets the guidelines and describes the medium and long term action programs to implement in order to enhance the tourism sector, an engine of economic and social development of Togo. «  Tourism is a vital sector for the Togolese economy. The country has the potential and will  get back to his place, there are several decades  « said Ms. Ndiaye Lô Kardiata, the representative of UNDP in Togo.

In Togo, tourism now contributes about 2.2% to the GDP, substantially identical to the other countries of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA). The goal, according to the Togolese authorities, is to reach 7% in 2020.

Listed among the sectoral components prioritized by the government for the development of Togo, the tourism sector knows, in recent times, mutations through the implementation of actions, promotions and reforms aiming to revive this vital sector for the country’s economic takeoff. According to UNDP, among the actions that confirm this political will in Togo, the inscription of the tourism sector among the growth sectors in the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Employment Promotion (SCAPE), which is a National development planning instrument.

These government efforts have begun to bear fruit since Togo has, in recent years, a rise in the number of tourists. Official statistics speak for a net increase of the number of tourists from 251,696 in 2010 to 325,633 tourists in 2015. « Togo has welcomed 325,633 tourists in 2015 with a hotel receipts estimated at 26 billion FCFA. These figures reflect a gradual evolution that began in the early 2010. The aim is to cross the bar of 500,000 tourists per year by 2020 « said Bernadette Legzim-Balouki, the Minister of Trade and Tourism, at the opening of the African forum on hotel investment (AHIF) on 21 June.

To believe the latest report of the World Travel and Tourism, the tourism industry employs 79,000 people in Togo. « There is a palpable revival of tourism in Togo. Already this year, 431,000 tourists, including business, are expected in Togo  « the report said. According to experts in the field, these figures will double once the new hotel infrastructure

completed. « If Togo performed feats in the tourism sector, it is thanks to the legendary hospitality of the Togolese people, social stability and the democratic values ​​that are beginning to take root, » says Kodjo Menssa, owner of a hotel in Lome.

To enjoy all other sectors of the country, the Togolese government is striving to improve the competitiveness of hotel infrastructure and the level of the land, air and port transport system.
Renovation of infrastructures

Tourism activity in Togo gradually resumes its place, since the state has taken the bull by the horns by launching the renovation and construction of accommodation facilities. Today, Togo, a country of about 7 million inhabitants, has a hotel industry with about sixty hotels with high standings. High-end hotels (3 to 5 stars) are under construction in the Togolese capital. It is in this context that we note the emergence of new international investors with Radisson Blu and Onomo, which are guarantees for a demanding international clientele. The arrival of other international hotels was announced by the Minister of Tourism.

The Togolese authorities do not skimp on the means to start tourism. Indeed, just a few weeks, the captain of the Hawks of Togo Emmanuel Adebayor Sheyi, was appointed ambassador of tourism in Togo. His role, convince foreign investors to invest in Togo, as part of the tourism plan .

The assets for the revival of the sector

Togo is a country with many natural and social tourist assets. For example, the variety of landscapes and cultural diversity, including the historical and typical habitats including the famous Koutammakou World Heritage of UNESCO. According to the Togolese Prime Minister, Selom Klassou, Togo has a lot of tourism potential that can optimize the sector which today remains a high-growth sector. « Outside of our natural and social assets, the new terminal of Lome, and the modernization of the port will also bring more to the sector. In addition, Togo is among stable and secure countries in the sub-region « adds the Prime Minister during the African forum on hotel investment (AHIF).

Since the attacks of Bamako and Ouagadougou, Lome major hotels have strengthened their security. Checkpoint at the entrance, control of the coffers of vehicles  , security guards 24/7. « There is no threat, but we must remain vigilant to avoid being surprised. It is essential to equip ourselves with safety devices to help protect our customers and make our job easier, « reported last May, Yark Damehame, the minister of security, speaking to hoteliers.


By Emmanuel Atcha

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