South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says tourism holds the promise for economic growth in Africa and undertook to ensure the continent commits itself to removing threats such as archaic visa systems and crime.

The tourism sector alone contributed 7 percent to the continental gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, positioning itself as a key economic sector.

However, these significant gains need to be consolidated by rebranding Africa as a continent of success that will always shine and open doors to the world subject to certain conditions being met, says President Ramaphosa in his Durban Indaba official opening speech.

“Tourism is the new gold that African countries can exploit in a sustainable manner in line with global goals,” he said.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive Officer Mrs Rita Likukuma had earlier on raised the issue of hindrances such visa requirements which affected tourism during a meeting with her South African counterpart Mr Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.

The Durban Indaba is arguably Africa’s biggest travel showcase where international buyers of tourism products get to sample the continent’s offerings.