The African Tourism Board is celebrating two years after its impressive soft launching and introduction to the global tourism arena during the World Travel Market (WTM) in London 2019. The organization had its first meeting on November 5, 2019. To celebrate this there will be a livestream.travel event today. To register click here .
After the soft launching and introduction to the world tourist markets and business sources, ATB had succeeded to bring together then unite tourist professionals from different disciplines to discuss and deliberate pertinent issues arising from tourism in Africa.
Tourism professionals and stakeholders from inside Africa and the rest of the world have manage to come together looking to get solutions to marketing and promotional hiccups facing tourism in Africa to come up with positive ideas to address their solutions and development.
The African Tourism Board was officially launched later after the WTM in London, on April 11, 2019 at an impressive event that had coincided with World Travel Market (WTM) Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ministers of Tourism and leaders of the African and international travel and tourism sector, along with exhibitors and visitors joined together in the Conference Theatre of the Cape Town International Convention Centre to join the African Tourism Board, an organization working to ensure that Africa becomes one tourist destination.
A big team of international team of experts from the world tourist spectrum had attended the event then conducted informative meeting of African Tourism Board members, then enlightened participants of the event and members about best strategies to promote then making Africa a one tourist destination.
Since its establishment, ATB had brought together then connected travel and tourism professionals, media and people with passion on tourism to discuss issued related to African tourism for an everlasting development of the continent’s rich wildlife, historical, geographical and cultural heritages.
Weekly meetings organized by ATB Task Force have brought together the Board members to chart out issues related to development of Domestic, Regional and International tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic and then after the outbreak.
Mid this year, the Africa Tourism Board had launched its ground breaking Tourism Relief Initiative, the “Project Hope” aiming as a response to COVID-19 and its impact on the tourism industry in Africa.
Project Hope maps out a general framework for economic growth and recovery plan for countries in Africa, leveraging the tourism sector. The project will also enable localization and adaptation of solutions according to each country’s specific needs.
“Tourism is an important economic sector for many countries, and the travel restrictions that have been imposed as a result of COVID-19 has meant that most, if not all African countries have suffered a severe blow to their economies”, ATB Chairman Mr. Cuthbert Ncube said.
“Project Hope has been initiated to embark on the journey to rebuild travel and tourism in Africa”, Ncube said.
Project Hope has been established by ATB specifically as a response to COVID-19 and its impacts on the Tourism industry in Africa.
This framework, once implemented will put each country on an upward trajectory for economic recovery after COVID-19 has been a thing of the past.
In doing so, Project Hope aims to reposition the travel and tourism industry, the most affected and damaged sector by the COVID19 crises, as the leading economic force and for the good of all of Africa.
“We have coined it Project Hope for Africa indicating that we have chosen Faith over Fear, Hope over Despair, and we remain positive that Tourism will recover to become stronger than before.
“The Project will include specific initiatives and activities that will restore confidence on travel into the African continent”, added the ATB Chairman.
Recently, ATB had organized then held a high level ministerial meeting in which tourism ministers and their high level representatives held discussions aimed at shaping tourism in Africa during and after COVID-19 pandemic.
In their latest discussions, the African tourism and heritage ministers have agreed to speed up development of Domestic Tourism in Africa. This has been a top priority in Mauritius where international tourism is down after the outbreak of COVID-19 early this year.
ATB had brought together tourism ministers and their representative from African countries including Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Eswatini and Tanzania among others, to chart out strategies targeting development of Domestic and Regional Tourism in Africa.
Key issues now under ministerial docket including the free movement of African people within the continent by waiving visa restrictions among countries.
ATB Chairman Mr. Cuthbert Ncube said Africa needs to open its skies for its own people. He said air connectivity within Africa is still a big problem that the Board is currently addressing to solve.
“Going or travelling inside Africa, the traveler has to pass through the Middle East or Europe to connect the trip”, Ncube said.
“We need open skies of Africa, re-packaging our tourism marketing and re-brand our continent holistically”, the ATB Chairman noted.
Development of African tourism through promotion of intra-travel in Africa has been necessitated by conservation of rich African heritage sites, cultural and religious heritages.
ATB has been advocating preservation of “Critical Assets” in Africa which is the African wildlife which is the leading tourist attraction in Southern, Eastern and Central Africa.
Gorillas in Rwanda, Chimpanzees in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda are among the unique wildlife species in Africa now attracting a big number of tourists from outside Africa, apart from other wild animal species living in the continent.
Recognizing and supporting campaigns to help African children achieve their educational and welfare dreams as good leaders for tomorrow, the African Tourism Board (ATB) had in June this year, organized a virtual discussion with prominent panelists to discuss children rights in Africa.
Bearing a banner of “Targeting Children and Youths in African Tourism Development” ATB had expressed its commitment to campaign for education rights and welfare for children in Africa through The virtual discussion that took place mid-June this year to mark the International Day of the African Child.