Congo-Brazzaville sets sights on becoming ecotourism destination

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo — Travelers landing at Maya-Maya airport in the Republic of Congo are greeted by the sort of sights one might find in a European city, with plexiglass walkways connecting the boarding wings and the main hall. A large sign pointing towards Brazzaville welcomes you at the exit. Outside, the city buzzes with the sounds of traffic and pedestrian conversation, day and night. Just a drive away sits the second largest rainforest in the world.

Rich in natural and cultural landmarks like these, Congo-Brazzaville is pinning hopes to diversify its oil-dependent economy on tourism. Commodities currently make up about 60 percent of the country’s economic output, so the government is courting foreign investments, pitching its appeal to international visitors and starting the hard work of building the tourism sector domestically…..