By Francis Ogwo
A Tourism development deal worth $1.2 million has been signed between the Republic of Benin through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts, the World Bank and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The objective of the deal was to help build the capacity of Benin’s tourism sector in the area of statistics and data.
The signing which was done virtually had the Secretary-General of UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Jean-Michel Abimbola, as participants.
They expressed optimism that the project will help develop the tourism sector in Benin.
The project will specifically enable the West African country’s tourism sector to develop a system for granting licenses and classification of tourism establishments and Tourism statistics and TSA.
The agreement is a major testimony of the importance of the tourism sector in the national development agenda of Benin especially in the current context triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic which has hit the travel and tourism sector hard.
Further details revealed that the projects will be financed through a World Bank (WB) fund and implemented by UNWTO. Activities are foreseen to be implemented both through a combination of technical assistance combined with missions on the ground as and when possible.
This project aims to support the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts to update the system for granting licenses and classification of tourism establishments.
The following activities will be included in the project: Review and draft new texts of licenses for tourism trades and activities, update of the hotel classification system (the classification system and the classification criteria), development of IT platforms to facilitate the governance (i.e. all administrative procedures) of the licensing and hotel classification processes through a single window.