THE United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa rose from its 53rd session with a commitment to improving the involvement of women and youths in the tourism sector.
The pledge was made at the end of the seminar held at the Tinapa Business Resort, Calabar, Cross River State capital, with the theme: “Responsible tourism: Opportunities for women and youths.”
The Commission identified economic barriers as one of the problems affecting women and youths participation in the tourism sector.
It was noted that to address the financial difficulties being faced by these two groups, profitable and sustainable ventures and co-operative societies should be established for them.
The Commission also called on the various governments in the region to provide adequate training in vocational skills for women and youths.
It also deplored the low entrepreneurship level of women and youths in the tourism sector, adding that mentorship was needed to check the ugly trend.
Lack of statistical data on women and youths was also identified as a barrier to knowing the percentage of this group in the tourism sector.
The Commission, therefore, called for better and improved data-gathering mechanism in the continent and proper and adequate funding for tourism-related projects and enterprises.