Salon Mondial du Tourisme

From 14th to 17th March, the 47th Edition of the trade fair “Salon Mondial du Tourisme“ took place in Paris at Porte de Versailles.

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Over 200 exhibitors shared insights and expertise and invited the visitors to discover, among others, the cultural richness of Africa and the historical significance of the Middle East.

More than 66,000 visitors attended this year’s edition of the trade fair.

One of the exhibitors was Congo Brazzaville. AfricaNewsAnalysis’ travel editor, Niels Bartels, attended the event in Paris and spoke with Armand Pongault who works for the Ministry of Tourism of Congo Brazzaville and Charles Nganga who is a tourism consultant.

According to them, the Minister of Tourism believes that one of the first things we have to do is make the whole world aware of the Congo as a destination.

They stressed that it was necessary to renew their country’s presence at various international tourism fairs and exhibitions.

“We were also in Berlin during the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) trade show and we’re sure that this will work out well for us.

“During nearly 14 years, we didn’t attend any international tourism trade fairs at all.

Congo Brazzaville, they say, “has great potential that we are not yet exploiting and which is still unknown.”

For example, “We have forests, we have elephants, we have gorillas etc.”

AfricaNewsAnalysis’ Travel Editor, Niels Bartels (r) pictured with representatives of Congo Brazzaville at Salon Mondiale du Tourisme in Paris/Photo Credit/AfricaNewsAnalysis/Niels

The two representatives at the trade fair emphasised that In the whole of Central Africa, Congo Brazzaville boasts the most gorilla and Chimpanzees activities.

“Furthermore we have all kinds of leopards.

“There are also many plants. It is a paradise for scientists and visitors who love to see and explore nature but the big problem is that we are not yet exploiting the potential enough.”

Congo Brazzaville, they stressed have wonderful natural parks and they want to make the most of it now.

“We are therefore looking for investors and tourists.

“Look at Kenya, for example. They have already developed their potential.

We’re still in the early stages.

By the way, We also have gastronomy and Rumba – the Cuban dance that has come to us.

“There’s also a convention centre and grand hotels like the Radisson and Hilton.”

We also spoke about challenges which they are facing:

“We need to improve visibility,” they said.

“There are two Congos: Congo Brazzaville, our country, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) . The DRC is much more famous, more well known because of history and the war.

“Therefore: usually when people hear “Congo“ they see “the other side“ (that means: not us) which is a pity because we (Congo Brazzaville) do have great tourist potential.

“Another problem is: we are a small country with limited financial resources. We need investors therefore.”

We also spoke about advantages for investors:

“Our country is peaceful! People still think there are wars in Congo! Our country is very peaceful and there are strict rules that protect investors from foreign countries.

“Look at Kenya and South Africa: Those who invested in Kenya or South Africa made a lot of money.”

Final statement:

We want to address all those who visit Mauritius, Seychelles, Kenya, etc and who are a little tired of these world-famous destinations and who want to discover something “that’s still fresh“ and preserved: come to Congo and you will not be disappointed !