- The call that was made was for all stakeholders to come together as a unified block.
- It was said that the time is now to start to assess the trends and impacts of the current setbacks of the pandemic and develop collective recovery models.
- The models can then be interpreted to create what should form the pillars of mitigating the economy impact of COVID-19.
The African Tourism Board (ATB), founded in 2018, is an association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the African region. It has long been a proponent of presenting Africa as one unified tourism destination.
The impact of the pandemic will carry into 2023 and likely through 2025, but the good news is most continental destinations have been finding ways to adapt and have developed recovery plans to manage the reopening of the Tourism industry.
There should be strong recommendations for governments to agree on modalities for this to happen in order to resuscitate the Travel and Tourism industry that is currently under tremendous pressure. There is an emergency need to work together in our own different ways, putting forth efforts to address trade and travel obstacles as it is said, “Africa is open for business.” As of right now, it is still a nightmare to travel from one member state to another.
Fundamental issues need to be addressed before Africa enjoys seamless Intra-Africa trade efforts. The Tourism sector is perhaps the sector with the most potential to grow continentally and can be sustainably increased to address this need. With effective coordination and deliberation across regional destinations, Africa can truly present itself on the Travel and Tourism scene as one.
Africa has had to sacrifice vast socio-economic benefits and growth opportunities that Tourism may be able to compensate for and bring to the continent as a whole. Narrow mindedness and securing just a fragment of the African pie country by country is a short-sighted approach that misses out on the bigger picture. There are a number of opportunities that could be harnessed by adopting a well-coordinated strategy as adaptation of bilateral agreements are encouraged to ensure that countries work together on business events and the Tourism sector in general with growth and expansion as the goals.
The Former Chairperson of the AU emphasized a need for the continent to start appreciating the initiatives recommended and implemented by the AU. In particular, Member States need to start printing the AU Passport that was commissioned for rollout in each country. Lack of the will from countries to participate is derailing the progress and implementation this passport that could unlock the door to Tourism abundance.
The Intra-African Trade Fair was attended by the Honorable Minister and Former AU Chairperson Nkosazana Zuma along with Tourism board CEOs from Africa and other dignitaries.
About the African Tourism Board
The African Tourism Board (ATB) is part of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP). The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research, and innovative events to its members. In partnership with private and public sector members, the African Tourism Board enhances the sustainable growth, value, and quality of travel and tourism in Africa. The Association provides leadership and counsel on an individual and collective basis to its member organizations. The ATB is expanding on opportunities for marketing, public relations, investments, branding, promoting, and establishing niche markets. For more information, click here.