As part of its ongoing push to grow its leisure tourism in addition to being a recognized business hub on the African continent, the government of Cote d’Ivoire announced on Thursday that it is launching a digital tourist pass or “Sublime Cote d’Ivoire passe touristique.”
Set to become available in April 2023, this prepaid Visa digital card will give the visitor access to a number of discounts and offers from a network of tourist attractions, restaurants and services, including hotels to show ticketing services, according to the Ministry of Tourism. There will be three types of cards, to distinguish among Ivorian tourists, international tourists, and those who are foreign residents in the country.
The plan is to also launch a national online directory listing tourism establishments and their corresponding offers by April 2023. The tourism industry aims to reach one million consumers in the first year of the digital pass.
The musical group Magic System (you’ve no doubt heard their famous tune “Premier Gaou” from 1990 play at some point anywhere in the world, precursors to Afrobeat’s popularity) has been tasked as an ambassador to promote the effort.
Cote d’Ivoire is revving up its tourism efforts as it prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in January-February 2024, which makes this push to digitize and modernize access to its tourism industry even more critical.
Lesser-known than Ghana or Morocco from a tourism standpoint, Cote d’Ivoire, a country where this reporter spent her childhood, is one of Africa’s most underrated destinations, offering cities, beaches and plenty of ecotourism. Thought it may be behind major tourism poles in eastern and northern Africa such as Kenya or Morocco, its capital Abidjan is actually where Africa’s first modernist hotel, then-Hotel Ivoire, was born.
For more on Cote d’Ivoire, read this write up I had the honor of authoring as part of Bloomberg’s Where to Go in 2023 list, plus some words in our January newsletter, and then dive into this travel feature on the latest in Cote d’Ivoire, from French publication Le Point.
Keep an eye out for an update on the availability of the pass in April 2023.