Five international air transport and tourism bodies have launched an appeal to international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors to support Africa’s travel and tourism sector which employs some 24.6m people on the African continent.
Without urgent funding, the COVID-19 crisis could see a collapse of the sector in Africa, taking with it millions of jobs. The sector contributes $169bn to Africa’s economy combined, representing 7.1% of the continent’s GDP.
The request is being made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).
These organizations are jointly calling on international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors to support the African travel and tourism sector through these tough times by providing:
- $10 billion in relief to support the industry to help protect the livelihoods of those it supports directly and indirectly;
- Access to as much grant-type financing and cash flow assistance as possible to inject liquidity and provide targeted support to severely impacted countries;
- Financial measures that can help minimize disruptions to much-needed credit and liquidity for businesses. This includes the deferral of existing financial obligations or loan repayments;
- Ensuring that all funds flow down immediately to save the businesses that need them urgently, with minimal application processes and without impediment from normal lending considerations such as creditworthiness.
Some African governments are trying to provide targeted and temporary support for hard-hit sectors. However, many countries lack the necessary resources to help the industry and these livelihoods through this crisis.