MOGADISHU (SD) – Information minister, Osman Abokor Dubbe has called for efforts to revive its shattered tourism industry as the horn of African Nation is recovering two decades old civil war.
Officiating a three-day tourism and media training event in Mogadishu, Dubbe said the country has untapped tourism potential that can attract investment and encourage both domestic and foreign tourism to spur development and create jobs, Somali information minister told Journalists in Mogadishu.
“We want journalists to be brand ambassadors and share positive images and messages about the progress we have made as a country and people. We want you to promote the country as a tourism and investment destination,” the minister said.
Dubbe asked the journalists to share positive images and messages about the country as it continues to make remarkable progress.
“The leading tourism destinations globally are famous because the media share positive stories and images that attract tourists and investors. As a country, we have made great progress and continue to do so,” Dubbe explained.
Somalia’s Director of Tourism, Farhiya Samman Mohamed, said media practitioners are important in changing global perceptions about Somalia as the country regains peace and stability. She noted that media platforms could best showcase Somalia’s reemergence, the untapped rich culture and tourism potential.
“There is a mutually beneficial relationship between tourism and media. Tourism is about social integration, travel and cultural exchanges, all of which cannot be possible without the media,” said Ms Farhiya.
A representative of the Somalia Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (SATTA), Mursal Mohamed Abdi, said public-private partnerships are important to reviving tourism, and the media can raise awareness about the reemergence of a new Somalia after decades of unrest.
“The media can sensitize the business community to know the enormous opportunities in the tourism sector and potential to create employment. The media and players in the tourism sector need to collaborate,” Abdi added.
Somalia is experiencing growth in various sectors, including aviation, infrastructure, hospitality, and financial services. Recently, the international financial card payment service, Visa, introduced its service in Somalia in partnership with the International Bank of Somalia.
The tourism sector once considered as one of the country’s top revenue sources had ceased to exist in 1990s after warlords overthrew the central government led by the late president Siad Barre, plunging the horn of Africa nation into one of the world’s deadliest and longest conflict.
Tourists have since fled the country which was later ranked as one of the world’s most dangerous countries in the world.