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Congo Brazzaville: Congo Brazzaville Tourism Profile




National Development Plan for 2012-2016 identifies potential areas for tourism growth

To contribute to economic increase and combat poverty, the government has undertaken to equip the travel and tourism market with appropriate regulations and to engage in a programme of capacity development. The programme includes the development of tourist sites and strengthening hotel and leisure facilities, inclunding human resources and promoting tourism and recreational activities.

European tourists remain an significant part of incoming tourist receipts

As a lot of immigrants have relatives in Congo-Brazzaville, the inbound flow from European nations (in particular France and Belgium) had an impact on the country’s receipts from tourism. Europe is as well considered a potential source of ecotourists, who may come to the country to experience its rich nature.

Air transportation increase driven by airline expansion

Founded at the end of 2011, Equatorial Congo Airlines registered dynamic performance in 2012, and in 2013 in particular, with regular flights to France, inclunding to Dubai, Benin, Cameroun, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Furthermore in March 2014 ECAir launched its initial operation in the Middle East, a thrice-weekly service between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Brazzaville, Congo (BZV). The national airline became a critical competitor to the market leaders, Air France and Royal Air Maroc, and stimulated outgoing, incoming and domestic tourism

Chinese tourism offers great potential

With the establishment of a new air link by the Congolese national airline, ECAir, between Dubai and Brazzaville, additional Chinese tourists are expected to visit Congo over the estimate period. As a result, China and Congo are working together on cooperation deals for the promotion of tourism between the two nations, inclunding the participation of Chinese artistic groups in the festivities marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Congo

Ecotourism remains an underdeveloped but promising area for next expansion of tourism

More associations were supported by the government and international NGOs. With natural parks, the river Congo and a diversified ethnic culture, Congo-Brazzaville is regarded as an attractive destination for ecotourism. With the country being relatively stable in terms of politics and security, ecotourism is expected to profit from the improved infrastructure connecting to remote places, enabling tourists to get closer to nature

New presidency faced with a lot of challenges

Denis Sassou Nguesso was elected president in the July 2009 elections, and will remain in this position for seven years. The new government is faced with a number of challenges such as poverty, high unemployment rates, a poor infrastructure and an inadequate travel and tourism industry. The government will be required to develop travel and tourism, which suffered over the review period as a result of political instability and civil war. Congo-Brazzaville’s economy will only recover if the new government is able to find ways to inject foreign investment into the country.

Congo-Brazzaville is a new destination for Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways introduced flights three times a week between Congo-Brazzaville and Nairobi in 2009. With Congo-Brazzaville offered as a new destination, travel and tourism could experience a boost due to an increase in business and leisure arrivals from the new airline route. The new route is as well likely to prove popular as the road and rail infrastructure remains poor and in need of investment as a result of damage caused by years of civil war.

Gorilla tourism and eco-tourism is a focal point

Odzala National Park is home to the densest people of the western lowland gorilla, and the Planter Foundation and Wildlife Frontiers plan to develop and establish a number of eco-tourism services and facilities in this area. Nevertheless, poaching and slaughtering of western lowland gorillas in Congo-Brazzaville has increased dramatically and this could affect eco-tourism in the county in general. The International Lobby is putting increasing pressure on the Congo-Brazzaville Government to take major conservation steps and stop those who kill and poach gorillas. If Congo-Brazzaville puts such conservation measures in place, travel and tourism will be boosted, like in neighbouring Rwanda, which generates US$200 per day from gorilla travel and tourism.

Travel and tourism needs further enhancement

Congo-Brazzaville enjoys a lot of rich, natural landscapes, inclunding swamps, falls, rapids, virgin forests, wildlife and sandy beaches. Unfortunately, the country has not been able to invest in or develop these natural sites due to completed political instability; in addition, the country does not have enough funding to attract tourists and promote itself internationally. Congo-Brazzaville requires promotion and investment to boost travel and tourism, and it needs to develop its roads to facilitate transportation. 2009 saw a positive move with the new government advocating investment in travel and tourism to boost the country’s economy.

Travel alerts continue in some parts of Congo-Brazzaville

Congo-Brazzaville was relatively stable in 2009 and recovering from civil war; however, travel alerts as a result of armed robberies and roadblocks continued in some parts of the country, making it dangerous for travellers. These alerts were most common in the Pool region, just south of Brazzaville, along the Ubangi River on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and on rail routes between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.