The newly appointed CEO for the African Tourism Board, Ms. Doris Woerfel from Pretoria, South Africa, issued her initial welcome message to ATB members today.
She shared her vision for African Tourism and declared her commitment to contribute for Africa to become one tourist destination.
She stated: I am thrilled to have been appointed as the CEO of the African Tourism Board, and I’m excited about many of the things we’ll be working on shortly.
For almost 20 years of commercial and non-profit experience, I worked in Responsible Tourism, Destination Management, Marketing, and Socio-Economic Community Development. My main objective as the newly-appointed CEO of the ATB is to bring my network and our expertise and knowledge to support the successful implementation and future operation of the organization not only for our members but also for the benefit of Africa and its people.
Over the past decades, African tourist destinations, especially cultural destinations, such as the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage sites – great Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Mapungubwe – have missed out on the opportunities of international visitors and travelers to Africa due to a massive lack of physical and human infrastructure.
In my role as the CEO of a Responsible Tourism Destination Management Company, a Socio-Economic Tourism Development company, and an NGO, I collaborated extensively with a think-tank of experts and scientists. We cooperated with the South African Presidency, different UN agencies, the NEPAD Council, and other high-level links to governments – both locally and internationally – to elaborate and promote new tourism development and marketing programs and concepts for Africa. The key focus of these programs is on African communities with under-marketed and highly-significant tourist attractions to benefit from overseas tourists through infrastructure- and socio-economic tourism development.
There is no doubt that there is a great need for an organization like the African Tourism Board on the African continent – a Tourism Board that unites all countries on the continent into one tourist destination.
For many countries in Africa, Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors. What makes traveling the African continent so exciting is the wide variety of its attractions: its uncountable species of wildlife, its multitudes of natural landscapes, its colorful tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and its friendly and mystical folklore.
But not all countries on the African continent contribute from tourism. There are three different categories of tourism development on the African continent:
- those countries with a developed tourism industry;
- those with a developing industry; and
- those that would like to extend the development of the tourism industry.
The African Tourism Board aims to contribute to developing tourism further, not only in those countries with no tourism industry but also in those with a highly-developed and sophisticated tourism sector.
The African Tourism Board was founded in 2018 at the WTM in London and launched at WTM Africa in Cape Town in April 2019. In cooperation with our public and private sector members, ATB aims to develop tourism responsively not only to and from but also within Africa and to unite countries on the African continent to declare Africa as one tourist destination.
With our team of experts, we provide our members with a variety of services and projects such as:
- peace and security-related projects,
- draft of African tourism policies and white papers,
- insight into tourism and travel research,
- access to our innovative global events, and
- counseling and implementation of projects in all areas from socio-economic tourism development and investment to tourism marketing and infrastructure development.
After the launch in Cape Town, the name “African Tourism Board” remains the brand of two independent entities working as one brand:
The African Tourism Board Association is an entity based in Africa– run and operated by Africans and for Africa.
The African Tourism Board Marketing Cooperation is expanding on opportunities for marketing, public relations, development and investments, branding, and promoting and establishing niche markets from source markets outside Africa. The company is initially based in the USA.
African Tourism Board Members have access or can participate in projects and services provided by both the ATB Association and the ATB Marketing Corporation.
For example, one of our partners is a global company pioneering new ways to stay connected in the world of travel and mobile communications. From international calls and data roaming solutions to Wi-Fi connectivity and unique travel products, our partner has set a goal to break down barriers and bring Africa and the world closer together.
Travel Security & Safety Surety is another essential service the African Tourism Board can offer to our members. The recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka demonstrate in a somber, drastic, and dramatic way, how important it is to protect our African tourist destinations from these kinds of today’s potential threats in our industry.
When making my decision to act as the new CEO of the ATB, five areas stood out most:
- I want to see the African Tourism Board as your “one-stop shop” for services related to peace and security, tourism development, tourism marketing, and tourism investment in Africa;
- I want us to be easily accessible and, therefore, being presented globally in satellite offices in all these countries which are bringing their tourists and travelers to Africa;
- I want us to tap into the full potential of tourism development and marketing the African tourism industry has to offer;
- I want us as a service provider to step into the “whatever it takes” attitude to assist you as our members; and
- I want you and your organization to benefit from all this and the biggest network of travel-hospitality and tourism professionals in Africa.
With your registration as a new member of the ATB, you will add your organization or company to a comprehensive world-class database of African and international tourism experts and professionals with all its benefits and advantages.
Our full list of services, structured membership fees, and target market are available on our website: https://africantourismboard.com
I trust I encouraged you with my letter to sign in as one of our new members.
If you have any questions about the African Tourism Board and our products, or if you would like to contribute with new suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
I am looking forward to welcoming you as a new member of our African Tourism Board!
Click here to join.