At the 56th Meeting of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for Africa, African member States highlighted the impacts of poaching on tourism and discussed a UNWTO study on the economic value of wildlife watching. At the meeting, participants considered UNWTO findings revealing that wildlife watching tourists represent between 80% and 90% of all visitors to protected areas. During a special debate, member States requested that the UNWTO advance its advocacy work in anti-poaching and the role of tourism in fighting wildlife crime.
Meeting participants also discussed, inter alia, how to overcome existing barriers to the advancement of African tourism, such as through the improvement of air connectivity and infrastructure development. The 56th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa was held from 28-30 April 2014 in Luanda, Angola. [UNWTO News\ [UNWTO Study on the Economic Value of Wildlife Watching Tourism in Africa\ [IISD RS article on UNWTO, UNODC and African Ministers Join to Fight Illegal Wildlife Trade\ [IISD RS article on UNWTO Committee to Address Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade\