JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Monday 19 August 2019 – Following a rigorous evaluation process by the Africa Tourism Leadership Awards (ATLA) adjudication committee, the finalists for the 2019 Awards have been announced and Botswana is amongst the nominees courtesy of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism and Wilderness Safaris.
The committee was co-chaired by Judy Kepher-Gona, Executive Director at Kenya’s Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda, and Marina Novelli, Professor of Tourism and International Development and Responsible Futures’ Academic Lead at the University of Brighton, UK.
The Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) is a Pan-African dialogue platform that brings together key stakeholders from Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors. It aims to provide continental platform for dialogue, networking, sharing insights and devising strategies for sustainable travel and tourism development across the continent.
It also focuses on enhancement of Africa’s brand equity and promoting intra-Africa travel. It is the only African Leadership dialogue platform designed and convened by Africans and hosted in Africa to promote tourism as a priority sector and major economic development pillar in African states.
The awards’ ceremony, to be held at the Durban International Convention Centre will bring together thought leaders and other industry stakeholders of the African travel and tourism sector at the close of the 2019 Africa Tourism Leadership Forum scheduled for 27-29 August, and to be held under the theme, “Stimulating intra-Africa travel through thought leadership.”
Categories for the African Tourism Leadership Awards included:
- Leading in Progressive Policies’ Award
- Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award
- Women in Leadership Award
- Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination Award
- Outstanding Accommodation Facility / Group Award
- Outstanding Tourism Transportation Award
- Outstanding Africa Tourism Media & Marketing Award
- Championing Sustainability Award
- Destination Africa – Lifetime Award
Announcing the finalists, Judy Kepher Gona said, “The African tourism sector is growing with many new entrants offering competitive tourism products. It was quite a task for the evaluation team to reduce the over nominees to 24 finalists. We are however confident that we have managed to identify the individuals and enterprises who are doing excellent work in the sector.”
The list of finalists in, no particular order, are as follows: Botswana Ministry responsible for Tourism and Rwanda Tourism Development Board under the Leading in Progressive Policies; CAM Consulting Group – South Africa, WeMove Technologies Ltd – Nigeria, Wojo Ghana – Ghana in the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award; Elcia Grandcourt – Seychelles, Francine Zana – South Africa, Belise Kariza – Rwanda under the Women in Leadership Award; Cape Town, Ghana and Kigali in the Innovative Business Tourism Destination Award; Mantis Collection – South Africa, Azalai Hotel Group – Mali and Wilderness Safaris – Botswana in the Outstanding Accommodation category.
Other categories include Outstanding Tourism Transportation which has Ethiopian Airways, Fly Mango and Avis South Africa; Outstanding Africa Tourism Media (Rainmaker Digital – Namibia and South Africa), Voyages Afriq – Ghana and Pen It Multi Media Limited – Nigeria, and lastly; Championing Sustainability category with Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) – Kenya, African Parks – South Africa and Mantis Collection – South Africa.
According to Professor Novelli, the Awards recognise innovators and game-changers in Africa’s travel and tourism sector.
“Particular attention and recognition is given to nominees who have shown commitment to leadership through sustainability and innovation in tourism practices,” she says.
“ATLA is the only Pan-African travel and tourism awards that seeks to recognise these key attributes. It focuses on change-making pioneered by Africans, in Africa and for Africans. Winners will be announced at the awards’ night, an ultimate and must-attend Pan-African travel and tourism networking gathering.”