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Is the Congo Flood Response the Miracle We’ve Been Waiting For? Find Out How Tourism Is Bouncing Back and Why You Should Be Concerned About Sudan’s Ancient Pyramids!
The devastating torrential downpours in the Congo have had a profound impact on the country, affecting 1.8 million people and causing widespread destruction. The floods have damaged health facilities, schools, and thousands of houses, leaving many villages isolated and accessible only by boat or canoe.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has appealed for $26 million in funding to provide basic support including shelter, food, and healthcare to the affected population. So far, the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $3.6 million towards the emergency, but more resources are needed to address the extensive damage to arable land, fruit trees, fishing gear, and livestock.
In more positive news, international tourism is making a remarkable recovery, with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicting a return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. Travel has already reached 88% of pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 1.3 billion international arrivals. Increased air connectivity and the rebound of Asian markets and destinations are expected to contribute to the tourism market’s full recovery in 2024.
The Middle East has led the recovery efforts, surpassing pre-pandemic levels with a 22% increase in arrivals. Europe, as the world’s most visited region, has reached 94% of 2019 levels, thanks to intraregional demand and travel from the United States. Africa has recovered 96% of pre-pandemic visitors, while the Americas have reached 90% of their previous levels. Asia and the Pacific region, however, are lagging behind, with only 65% of pre-pandemic levels achieved. Nonetheless, South Asia has already seen an impressive recovery of 87% of 2019 levels.
This recovery in international tourism has had a significant economic impact, with international receipts reaching $1.4 trillion compared to $1.5 trillion in 2019. Several destinations have reported strong growth in tourism receipts, even surpassing growth in arrivals.
While tourism is on the rise, there are concerns about the preservation of Sudan’s ancient pyramids of Meroe. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is currently at risk due to the conflict between Sudan’s warring factions. UNESCO has expressed deep concern over the safety of the site and the potential looting and trafficking of priceless artifacts. The agency has called for all parties to respect international law, which prohibits the targeting and military use of cultural property.
As the situation continues to evolve, UNESCO is closely monitoring the site and implementing emergency measures to protect Sudan’s cultural heritage. The agency has also called for vigilance among law enforcement and cultural professionals to prevent the acquisition and trade of stolen or illegally exported cultural property from Sudan.
In conclusion, while the Congo flood response is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention, there is hope in the recovery of international tourism. However, we must not forget the importance of preserving and protecting historical sites like Sudan’s ancient pyramids, which hold great cultural value. As travelers, it’s crucial to support sustainable and responsible tourism practices to ensure the preservation of these heritage sites for future generations.

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By Barbara

Hello, I'm Barbara, a 43-year-old Travel Agent. I specialize in creating memorable and personalized travel experiences for my clients. With years of experience in the industry, I am dedicated to helping you plan your dream vacation. Whether it's a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a solo trip, I am here to make your travel dreams a reality. Let's work together to create unforgettable memories!