DURBAN, South Africa, August 2019 – Travel and tourism industry top brains are in Durban, South Africa at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) aptly to dialogue on issues that will interest the continent’s citizenry at this year’s Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF), as well as stimulate intra-Africa travel through thought leadership .
The forum is a Pan-African platform that brings together key stakeholders of Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors to network, share insights and devise strategies for intra-Africa travel and tourism growth across the continent, whilst enhancing the brand equity of “Destination Africa”.
ATLF is the Forum of its kind in Africa that puts the spotlight on tourism as a major economic pillar for diversifying African economies.
With the inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Awards held in Accra Ghana on 30 August 2018, the Forum highlights and recognizes game-changing initiatives being pursued across the sector. These included progressive policy-making, thought leadership, innovation, sustainable investments and public-private community partnerships that are making waves across Africa’s tourism sector.
The second inaugural talk shop is held under the theme “Stimulating intra-Africa travel through thought leadership.”
Speaking at the Durban ICC, this week, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Zurab Pololikashviki said Africans should not forget that their region is considered as a continent full of wonders.
He said with so much changing around the world due to climate change and its consequences, it is more important to look after the continent’s flora and fauna.
“On the onset I undertook several consultative meetings to develop a strategic vision and agenda for the continent in response to the African tourism minister’s request. The main objective of the agenda was to work towards achieving a more resilient, sustainable and innovative tourism sector in Africa, delivering a UN 2030 agenda and the resilient sector,” he added.
When welcoming the guests MEC for Economic Development Tourism & Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said there are many challenges afflicting South Africa and to better and contribute meaningfully to the lives of its citizens, both government and the private sector are looking for solutions in the travel and tourism sector.
“There is no panacea for growth, and development and tourism is a sector that has demonstrated success in Africa. I am therefore optimistic that the discussions here in Durban will perhaps set the plans in motion for such visions to come to life,” said Dube-Ncube.
For her part, Phindile Makwakwa, CEO of Kwa-Zulu Natal Tourism expressed delight for hosting renowned travel, hospitality and tourism heads to this year’s leadership forum as people continue to look for the emerging fourth industrial revolution.
“Beyond this and even reimagining the contribution that tourism can make will require vision. Beyond the plans and strategies we must work together to leverage our collective strengths. Our continent continues to hold unique offerings including more commonly known ones like the Big 5,” she concluded.
The event hosted thirty (30) world-renowned global industry experts, speakers, business leaders, ministers, policy makers, and over three hundred (300) delegates from over thirty (30) countries including Botswana.