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Little Dong-ji Festival
December 20, 2007

The ST-EP Foundation helped to organize the Little Dong-ji festival, held from December 20-23 at Namsan Hanokmaeul (Korean Traditional House). Some 50 diplomats attended the opening ceremony, including 18 ambassadors. They tried their hand at making red-bean-and-rice soup (“pat-juk”), a traditional food eaten by Koreans during the winter solstice. Korean Prime Minister Han Duk-soo also participated. He gave welcoming remarks and attended the luncheon that followed the ceremony.

17th session of the UNWTO General Assembly
November 30, 2007

The seaport city of Cartagena de Indias played host to the 17th session of the UNWTO General Assembly from November 22nd to the 29th, 2007. Approximately, 700 Participants from 120 countries, 56 Affiliate Members and 20 international organizations, and close to 200 registered members of the press, took part in the General Assembly. The session brought focus on climate change and the UNWTO’s activities towards the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On the heels of the global campaign to implement the Davos Declaration (Climate Change and Tourism – Responding top Global Challenges), tourism’s strong relationship with climate as well as its social and economic value has truly taken center stage. In line with the 7th MDG to “ensure environmental sustainability”, much of the discussions dealt with integrating the principles of sustainable development with tourism during the “2008 International Year of Planet Earth” and beyond. The 17th Session also ratified the inclusion of three new Member States – Montenegro, Republic of Tajikistan & Brunei Darussalam – bringing the total number of member countries to 153. Meanwhile, over the past two years 65 new Affiliate Members have also joined. The increase in membership stands as proof that both public and private entities support the UNWTO’s global leadership in tourism.Meanwhile, the 17th Session was used as the venue for the UNWTO, ST-EP Foundation and SNV to push forward their cooperation. Secretary-General, Francesco Frangialli, ST-EP Foundation Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Dho Young-shim, and SNV Board of Directors Chairperson, Dirk Elsen, signed a letter of intent. The three parties agreed to work together to pull between 20000-25000 households (estimated 100,000 people) directly out of poverty through the tourism sector. A progress report was also offered on the ST-EP Programme. It was during the 16th General Assembly in Senegal that the ST-EP Foundation’s establishment and constitution were approved and adopted. Since that time the Foundation has contributed $1.4 million to 13 ST-EP projects in developing countries. It has also welcomed SNV as a member of its Board of Directors and is playing an active role in the UNWTO-FIFA partnership programme to promote tourism as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa approaches. Korean Minister of Culture and Tourism Kim Jong-min was elected as the East Asia and the Pacific’s representative as Vice-president. Minister Kim addressed the Assembly by expressing his optimism for tourism growth in the Asia-Pacific region which had recorded an increase of 10% growth in 2007. He also discussed Korea’s activities in developing “Tourism Technology” which incorporates the latest informational and technological advancements into the tourism industry3rd UNWTO – FIFA Steering Committee MeetingDuring the meeting, which was held on November 26th, Chairperson of the ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors, Dho Young-shim, gave a presentation on the activities undertaken by the Foundation. Throughout the year the ST-EP Foundation has hosted workshops for South African delegations that have come to Korea to learn from its 2002 World Cup experience. With its headquarters in Seoul, one of the ways it can contribute to the partnership is by sharing Korea’s World Cup experience through information packages and hosting lectures and tours of Korea’s World Cup preparation camp sites. ST-EP Foundation will also promote sustainable tourism in Africa and has developed brochures to be distributed and banners to be used leading up to the event.Dr. Henry Chasia, Executive Deputy Chairperson, E-Africa Commission, NEPAD presented on the use of ICT to promote tourism across Africa in conjunction with the 2010 World Cup. The NEPAD’s main objective is to “use Information Communication Technology as a catalyst to include all African countries in enjoying, participating and benefiting from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”3rd Meeting on the Network of Cross-border National Parks & Protected Areas in West AfricaHeld on November 28th, the meeting highlighted the recent progress made with regards to the implementation of the project. On September 11th, 2007 an agreement was signed between the UNWTO and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). KOICA has agreed to provide $350,000 in financial assistance for feasibility studies on the project. During the meeting government officials from the participating countries signed a cooperation agreement to help ensure the success of the studies. A provisional programme of activities for 2008-2009 was also presented. In 2008, funds from KOICA will be used for hiring consultants for feasibility studies.

4th UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors Meeting
November 24, 2007

The 4th Meeting of the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation’s Board of Directors took place in during the XVII General Assembly of UNWTO on November 24, 2007 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The meeting was chaired by Amb. Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of UNWTO ST-EP Foundation.

During the UNWTO Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai underlined the main achievements of the Foundation so far: awareness regarding the potential of tourism to reduce poverty levels, a good number of concrete projects being implemented in least developed and developing countries generating benefits for the poor; and, the consolidation of various sources of funds under the Foundation’s umbrella.

The Secretary-General of UNWTO Franceso Frangialli reiterated the need to gain a better understanding - through additional research and the evaluation of projects already carried out—of poverty-alleviation issues in relation with tourism in two types of destinations: least developed countries and small island States. He also suggested that ST-EP projects could be linked with climate change issues, particularly as it relates to natural areas, reforestation, ecotourism activities and access to fresh water resources.

Baekdu-daegan Expedition – the Final March
November 10, 2007

On September 2nd, 2007 two New Zealanders, Andrew Douch & Roger Shepherd, began their hike of the entire Baekdu-daegan Trail from Jiri-san up to Geumgang-san. Along the way the duo kept a blog and collected important information for tourists to the range. The information will be used to create a guidebook and will include places to eat, sleep and bathe. On October 20th, the duo arrived in the Yeongju city area. MBC Andong and several Korean newspapers covered the event. On hand to great them was ST-EP Foundation Chairperson Dho Young-shim as well as Yeongju City Mayor Kim Joo-Young. Andrew and Roger took in a temple stay at Pusoksa with Ven. Dosun-seunim, General secretary of Pusoksa temple.Their journey, which lasted just over 3 months, finished with a 20km hike to the peak of Hyangno-bong the DMZ accompanied by South Korean soldiers. Indeed, it was an extraordinary way to finish a hike of a lifetime.

Thank You Small Libraries Launched & Korea Africa Tourism Exchange Forum in Ghana
October 08, 2007

The UNWTO ST-EP Foundation launched two Thank You Small Libraries and organized the Korea-Africa Tourism Exchange Forum in Ghana on the weekend of October 6-7: Thank You Small LibraryIn cooperation with Korea’s Ministry of Culture & Tourism, the National Library of Korea and MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corp.) the ST-EP Foundation established two small libraries in the communities of Danfa and Abokobi. Dozens of local children gathered as the doors of the Thank You Small Libraries were officially opened. Chairperson of the ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors, Dho Young-shim, met with Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor at his official residence. He thanked the ST-EP Foundation for the establishment of the libraries in Ghana and offered the support of his government. These Thank You Small Libraries are a part of an initiative led by the ST-EP Foundation to provide educational opportunities to children in poor communities throughout Africa and the developing world. In the day time, bread and refreshments will be given to the children to encourage them to visit the library and use its resources. Meanwhile as 92% of people living in rural Africa do not have access to electricity, a solar energy power supply charged during the day will to allow people to read at night. The first 1000 educational books in each library have been supplied by the ST-EP Foundation.Korea-Africa Tourism Exchange ForumThe Korea-Africa Tourism Exchange Forum, which was organized by the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation with the support of the Korea’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, had two central aims: Firstly, to analyze on how to promote and market West Africa as a significant tourism destination, and; Secondly, to introduce and discuss the ST-EP Foundation’s Network of Cross Border National Parks and Protected Areas in 9 Countries of West Africa project. Feasibility studies for this project are being made possible by a contribution of $350,000 from KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency). Deputy Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai, Ghanaian Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, the Honorable Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Tourism Ministers and government focal points for the West Africa project from of the nine beneficiary countries (Benin, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone), as well as international organizations located in Ghana, attended upon the invitation of the ST-EP Foundation. The participants shared ideas on how to develop the project and regional long-term tourism viability. If successful, such a collaborative effort could be benchmarked and replicated in other areas on the African continent.

Sports Goods Donated to ANOCA for African Children
September 21, 2007

The President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA),Int. Gl. Lassana Palenfo, paid a special visit to Seoul, Korea upon the invitation of the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation, Ambassador Dho Young-shim. The President’s visit was highlighted by a sports goods presenting ceremony. The ST-EP Foundation was pleased to make a generous donation of over $50,000 worth of soccer balls and gym bags. The President said that he plans to use these goods for an initiative ANOCA is spearheading to lighten the burden felt by children of refugee camps in Africa. During the ceremony, which was attended by the Diplomatic Corps from African Countries and 2002 World Cup Korean soccer star Yoo Sang-chul, President Palenfo explained his ideas for the Beijing African Olympic House. Besides bringing focus on African cultures and ways of life, the ST-EP Foundation believes this project will bring attention to the extreme poverty that exists on the continent and on how sport can be used as a catalyst for hope and development. The ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty) Foundation has its headquarters in Seoul, Korea. Under the umbrella of the UNWTO and its 150 Member States and some 300 Affiliate Members, its activities are linked to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. As people living on less than $1 per day in Least Developed Countries, especially in Africa, are the main focus of the ST-EP Foundation’s mission, through cooperation with ANOCA and its President, the synergy between sports and tourism can be used to help people escape poverty.

The 2007 Baekdu-daegan Expedition
August 29, 2007

The UNWTO ST-EP Foundation and the 2007 Baekdu-daegan Expedition Team would like to announce that two New Zealanders, Andrew Douch & Roger Shepherd, will hike the entire Baekdu-daegan Trail within South Korea and into the North, from Jiri-san up to Geumgang-san, this September and November for a 70 day period. We believe this is the first time this has ever been accomplished by non-Koreans. The 2007 Baekdu-daegan Expedition will begin with a Launching Ceremony on Sunday September 2nd at 10:00AM at Jiri-san (Jungsan-ri of Sancheon-gun, Gyeongnam) and is planned to end with a trip to Geumgang-san after finishing the trail just north of Seorak-san. Along their hike, they will collect valuable information for potential tourists, including places to eat, sleep and bathe. The pair is also very excited to rest at some of the unique temple stays that are offered along the trail. The information they collect will be used to create books that provide tourists and hikers a guide to the Baekdu-daegan. The expedition will not only serve as a promotional event to make the Baekdu-daegan better-known to hikers throughout the world. On a humanitarian level, the UNWTO ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty) Foundation is backing the venture as a model which can be replicated to promote tourism in least developed countries (LDCs). Many poorer nations lack tourism infrastructure and expertise. Meanwhile, they are home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural scenery and traditional culture. Despite having a readily available source of sustainable development, such resources are often ignored and therefore overlooked by potential tourists abroad. As countries in the least developed world are the main focus of the ST-EP Foundation’s mission, it believes that information collected during the expedition would serve as a useful guide, leading to job creation and the building of economies in poor communities through sustainable tourism projects.

UNWTO ST-EP Workshop with SNV
July 19, 2007

On July 19, 2007 The UNWTO ST-EP Foundation held a workshop with SNV Regional director, Andy Wehkamp, and UNWTO Technical Cooperation Deputy Chief, Marcel Leijzer in UNWTO headquarter in Seoul, Korea to explore how to enhance the efficiency of its projects from SNV and to discuss projects currently being implemented by STEP Foundation.Ms. Wehkamp offered a general overview of SNV and its activities. With regards to the UNWTO, she mentioned three main areas of collaboration: 1. joint projects in sustainable tourism development; 2. knowledge exchange, and; 3. joint resource mobilization especially with regard to Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty. Mr. Leijzer gave a progress report regarding ST-EP Foundation Funded Projects under Implementation during 2006-2007. He said that that overall STEP projects progressed smoothly.The participants also discussed how to strengthen the work of ST-EP. Both Ms. Wehkamp and Mr. Leijzer discussed the importance of the parameters surrounding the selection of ST-EP projects. The workshop was helpful to the ST-EP Foundation in that it strengthened the cooperation with SNV to improve its projects.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits UNWTO Headquarters
June 05, 2007

“Tourism has proved one of the leading ways for the least ‎developed countries to increase their participation in the global economy”, said ‎United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, during his first visit to UNWTO ‎and Spain as Secretary-General. Ahead of his visit to Germany for the G8 Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban visited UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid on June 5. UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli and Chairperson of the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors Dho Young-shim briefed Mr. Ban on the important role of the tourism industry for world development. Mr. Frangialli reported on how despite various terrorists acts, natural disasters, and health scares, international tourist arrivals continue to grow at 4.2% and at an impressive 9.1% in least developed countries, where tourism represents up to 30% of GDP. In fact, Secretary of State for Tourism and Trade for Spain (the world’s second most visited country), Mr. Pedro Mejia, pointed out that when a person travels he/she can have an impact on 60 different industries, including hotels, airlines, and food. Mr. Frangialli said that due to tourism’s status as the world’s largest industry, the UNWTO have already begun to play an important role in facing the global challenge to combat climate change. This coming December the UNWTO will hold an international conference on the subject of global warming and the future of tourism. As this is an issue Mr. Ban will focus on at the 2007 G8 Summit, he thanked the UNWTO for its efforts to move quickly. During his visit to UNWTO Headquarters, Secretary-General Ban gave remarks to representatives of 60 countries. In his speech he emphasized the significance of the 842 million tourist arrivals counted internationally in 2006 and the some 730 billion dollars generated by the industry. He also mentioned that developing tourism is in the best interest of all regions and is a great tool to prevent conflicts.As tourism has great potential to contribute to poverty elimination in a sustainable manner, he thanked the ST-EP Foundation for its activities towards the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals, which include reducing poverty by half by 2015. On his first trip to Africa after becoming Secretary-General, Mr. Ban showed his interest and willingness to increase poverty elimination efforts by paying a visit to a poor village in Kenya. He also said that he was very proud that while serving as Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, the Government was one of the very first to back the UNWTO ST-EP initiative. He graciously offered his continued support.

Parade of Nations 2007
May 15, 2007
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The Parade of Nations 2007 was held on May 15th at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Held annually since 2005, the event was organized by the spouses of Ambassadors to Korea as a means of returning the generosity bestowed upon them by the Korean community. This year the event was supported by the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation. ST-EP Foundation donated USD $30000 to the Kechene Women’s Potters Cooperative of Ethiopia who sell their pottery to tourists in local markets. As an independent, indigenous women's cooperative, they have been perpetuating the art of making traditional, functional and artistic pottery over the past 15 years. They exhibit their work at tourist locations and local markets. On January 30th, ST-EP Foundation Chairperson Dho Young-shim and Director General Jun Young-jae were escorted by Ethiopian Minister of Culture and Tourism Mohamoud Dirir to Kechene Women Potters Cooperative.

UNWTO Commission for Africa Forum
May 02, 2007

The 45th UNWTO CAF Meeting opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia May 2 – 5, 2007 bringing together tourism and sport officials *Chairperson of ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors, Ambassador DHO Young-shim met with Ethiopian President H.E Girma Wolde-Giorgis to foster relations for sustainable development. Also present were Ethiopian Minister of Culture and Tourism Mohamoud Dirir, UNWTO SG Francesco Frangialli, Deputy Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, and Assistant Secretary-General Geoffrey Lipman.Ambassador DHO also met and shared a few poverty alleviation ideas with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi2nd Meeting of the UNWTO – FIFA Steering CommitteeCoinciding with the Commission for Africa Forum meeting was the 2nd Meeting of the Steering Committee held on May 2nd 2007. Through its participation, delegates present were briefed on how the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation intends to play its own role towards the realizations of the goals of the partnership. During the meeting, the results of the UNWTO – ST-EP Workshop held on March 1st were also discussed. The main goal of the meeting was to evaluate what has been done so far in preparations for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as well as explore other options that would seek to maximize the benefit of the event to all of Africa.

African Children Sing! Launched-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
May 02, 2007

A new day is dawn in the African world of music for development. African Children Sing!, an initiative of the International Federation for Choral Music and the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation, which intends to provide the first multinational program for children in the area of choral music, was officially launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 2, 2007. The launching ceremony, which took place during the UNWTO Commission for Africa Forum, saw the participation of top tourism and sport officialsAt the ceremony, a local children’s choir thrilled an audience of over 150 guests, including 20 Ministers of tourism from African with their vibrant and angelic voices. Their bright, lovely and smiling faces only helped echo the sound of hope for a better future of Africa that will come about through the youth.UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Chairperson, Ambassador Dho Young-shim gave welcoming remarks during the ceremony. Also in attendance was UNWTO Secretary General Frangialli, who unveiled and introduced a muffler, created by UNWTO ST-EP Foundation with Promotional messages for tourism & sport in view of the 2010 FIFA World Cup that would be a unique chance for sustainable growth in all of Africa.

UNWTO ST-EP Workshop with Malawi
April 04, 2007

The UNWTO ST-EP Foundation and a Malawian delegation led by Malawian Minister of Home Affairs and International Relations, Bb Khamisa held a workshop in Seoul – Korea to lay the groundwork for cooperation on sustainable tourism and poverty alleviation initiatives. Minister Bob Khamisa, used the occasion to brief delegates on rapid structural reforms that are taking place under the stewardship of Malawi’s new President. He admitted that things are changing for the better in Malawi, especially in terms of governance. He said the government’s zero tolerance campaign on corruption has helped brought this evil to an almost zero prevalence rate.With regards to rural development, he raised the need for solar power, to be used by thousands in the country where about 95% of the population have no access to electricity.Delegates also discussed the opportunities for Malawi in relation to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and pledged to work together towards a common goal.

International Tourism Fair Berlin 2007, the 5th ST-EP Forum
March 09, 2007

The 5th ST-EP Forum was held during the ITB Berlin 2007, by UNWTO representatives. This year’s forum focused on the actions that are being undertaken under the umbrella of UNWTO and other institutions, including private stakeholders. The Forum also aimed at engaging more institutions, companies and people in the fight against poverty through sustainable tourism. In its efforts, so far, UNWTO ST-EP Foundation has approved funding for 13 projects amounting to about US$1 million, benefiting some 18 countries worldwide (Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Honduras, Kenya, Lao, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia, and a regional project in West Africa).Additionally, some 25 ST-EP projects are being implemented by UNWTO with funding from the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) amounting to about ¢æ 1.2 million (Albania, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Montenegro, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, SADC countries, Uganda). The government of Italy is providing funding for 8 ST-EP projects (Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mali), and funding has been approved for additional projects during 2007.Present among others during the event were UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Francesco Frangialli, UNWTO Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairperson of UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors Dho Young-shim and Chief of UNWTO Sustainable Development of Tourism Section Eugenio Yunis.

ST-EP Update: Board of Directors Meeting, UNWTO-FIFA Steering Committee & African Union Summit-Madri
February 02, 2007

Over the past two weeks the ST-EP Foundation held its 3rd Board of Directors Meeting, participated in the 1st UNWTO-FIFA Steering Committee Meeting, & attended the 8th African Union Summit opening ceremony. Results of each are described below:3rd Board of Directors MeetingThe 3rd meeting of the ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors was held at UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid on February 2nd. As a result of the meeting, funding has been approved for seven new sustainable tourism projects aimed at eliminating poverty in some of the world’s poorest countries. The Board agreed to provide a total of US $596,925 towards the development of the following projects: 1. Village Action for Sustainable Tourism (VAST) - Zambia2. Kartong Community-based and Ecotourism Project - The Gambia3. Ban Kandone and Ban Tahine Village-based Tourism Development Handicraft, Home stay and Small-scale Infrastructure - Lao PDR4. Pangani-Saadani Coastal Protection -Tanzania5. Community-based Lodges Training Program - Mozambique6. Community-based Ecotourism in the Anjozorobe-Angavo Protected Area -Madagascar 7. Establishing linkages between Garifunas’s small business and the Bahia de Tela “Los Micos Beach & Golf Resort” - Honduras UNWTO-FIFA Steering CommitteeThe 1st meeting of the UNWTO-FIFA Steering Committee in preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was also held on February 2nd in Madrid. The committee’s members include representatives from the UNWTO, ST-EP Foundation, and FIFA, as well as tourism and sports ministers and delegates from Cameroon, Lesotho, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia. The meeting focused on developing a plan of action for increasing tourism throughout the continent leading up to, during and after the 2010 World Cup. African Union SummitOn January 29th, Chairperson of the ST-EP Board of Directors, Dho Young-shim, and ST-EP’s Director-General, Jun Young-jae, attended the opening ceremony of the 8th African Union Summit. In his remarks Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Issa Hayatou said, “Football, as the leading sport on the continent had a significant role to play in the achievement of Africas developmental objectives.” Later that day UN Secretary-General Ban and FIFA President Joseph Blatter, who also made keynote remarks during the ceremony, met to discuss the active role sports and tourism can play in helping the world’s poor. During the meeting Mr. Blatter explained FIFA’s plan to help eliminate poverty in Africa through the 2010 World Cup and FIFA’s support of United Nations activities. Mr. Ban applauded these efforts and encouraged further use of sports and tourism for eliminating poverty.

3rd UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Board of Directors Meeting
February 01, 2007

On February 1, 2007, the Board of Directors of UNWTO ST-EP Foundation convened its 3rd Meeting at the UNWTO’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
The Board of Directors approved a total fund of US$ 596,900 to be granted to 7 ST-EP projects in Zambia, Gambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Laos & Honduras.
Amb. Dho Young-shim took the floor and asked the members of the Board and UNWTO to help the Foundation in raising awareness about the ST-EP Programme.

ST-EP Workshop with African Ambassadors in Seoul, Korea
January 10, 2007

The UNWTO ST-EP Foundation co-hosted a Workshop with African Ambassadors. The workshop was requested by the Dean of Diplomatic Corps from African Countries, the Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Honorat E. Abéni Koffi. It came against the backdrop of discovering and exchanging ideas on development through sustainable tourism. Korea’s rapid transformation from one of the world’s Least Developed Countries to a vibrant and dynamic world economy is seen as a source of inspiration to African countries and leaders, who are always open to applying similar strategies in their home countries. ST-EP Foundation Chairperson, Dho Young-shim, opened the event by welcoming all those in attendance and expressed a special note of thanks to the African ambassadors for their interest in the ST-EP Foundation’s work. Ambassador Koffi followed Madam Dho’s comments by speaking of the hope that exists in Africa, which was once seen as a “land of doom.” All gathered were in agreement that sharing experiences and knowledge are an instrumental step in ensuring that Africa’s tourism potential would be realized for the good of all Africans. Present at the workshop were ambassadors from all regions of the African continent, including: Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia - as well as a representative from the Embassy of South Africa. The audience was comprised mostly of tour company representatives and graduate level university students that were keen to learn more about the activities of the ST-EP Foundation, and eager to hear the ambassadors describe their home country’s tourist attractions. Some of the ambassadors enthusiastically shared photos and video footage of their homelands to the appreciative audience. As the world’s leader in percentage growth of tourist arrivals, at 10.6% in 2006, the future looks bright for African tourism. This message was expressed by a representative from Korean tour company Do Ji Tam, who gave a briefing on African tour packages that are quickly growing in popularity among Koreans. Africa is indeed a continent filled with cultural and historical riches. Given this fact, in her closing comments, Chairperson Dho observed that each country would need its own workshop to explain all of its unique features. Also, the Ambassador of Nigeria, His Excellency Abba A. Tijjani, said that Koreans should not let distance discourage them from visiting Africa because travel had been made both easier and shorter in recent years. The overriding message of the workshop was that tourism can play an important role the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals through sustainable development. As co-hosts of the event, the ST-EP Foundation found the open exchange of ideas with the ambassadors to be an important step on the road to promoting sustainable tourism as a poverty fighting tool.

 
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