The Angolan Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has concluded its consultative council, held on July 5-7 in the coastal town of Sumbe. Outcomes included a call to diversify the industry, encouragement to drop prices and the introduction of an Operational Plan for Tourism.

The meeting was held to promote “the sustainable and diversified development, with economic and social inclusion and reduction of inequalities”, and was attended by the Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Ângela Bragança, national and provincial directors, tourism associations and entrepreneurs in the industry.

Bragança said the industry should turn to technology and innovations in communications, particularly social media, to attract tourists. She elaborated that operators in the sector should implement projects that allowed tourism to play a role in diversifying the economy.

According to state newspaper, Jornal de Angola, the consultative council also said authorities should continue their efforts to encourage tour operators, airlines and hotels to lower their prices in an attempt to draw tourists, and potentially boost domestic tourism.

Other recommendations included a special focus on introducing reliable tourist routes to the country, in consultation with the Ministries of Interior, Public Works and Energy and Water to improve conditions of roads and provision of resources. Participants at the meeting also discussed the promotion of ecotourism as a method for growth.

At the close of the meeting, Bragança said the new Operational Plan for Tourism 2018/2022 would help leverage tourism in the economy.

The Ministry of Culture is currently holding its consultative council, which will conclude on July 11. Planned topics include matters relating to cultural tourism and heritage sites. During an early roundtable, Minister for Culture, Carolina Cerqueira, pointed out the need to register tourism products in order to have updated data cultural tourism offerings. This was also touched on by participants at last week’s tourism council meeting, who called for a national heritage inventory to allow for better planning.