'Africa's Travel & Tourism Summit' takes off in September  

BY: Linda Safoa Antwi
Sthembiso Dlamino, Ag. CEO of SA Tourism

The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism will host the first ever Africa's Travel and Tourism Summit, set to take place from Sunday, September 19 to 21.

Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit purposes to be a catalyst for engagement on the current state of tourism on the continent by taking into account challenges facing the global tourism industry.

The summit also aims to attract African community delegates, African Tourism Ministers, industry Associations, Tourism Boards, Destination Marketing Organisations as well as various partners across the tourism value chain. 

Some of the topics for discussion at the summit include aviation, innovation, technology, the health and safety protocols currently in place, as well as the continent's positioning post the COVID-19 pandemic for the African continent.

Acting CEO of SA Tourism, Sthembiso Dlamini, highlighted that the African continent is resilient and the summit is important as it will contribute to picking up the momentum within the tourism sector.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may have dealt tourism, both business and leisure tourism, a heavy blow, but we are now in the recovery phase, and a summit of this nature is critical in ensuring that we are aligned as a continent whilst reigniting the tourism industry,” she said.

She also emphasised that Africa's Travel and Tourism Summit will act as a think tank for the continent, creating a platform for Africa’s tourism leaders to create solutions for Africa and contribute to global solutions for the industry.

The Summit will be hosted in a hybrid format over a two-day period. Delegates will have the option of attending virtually, or at identified venues across South Africa, or at three additional locations on the rest of the African continent, pending COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

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 Innovation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism as well as South African Tourism were not able to host its regular Africa’s Travel Indaba 2021 editions which usually take place in February and May annually.

Chief Executive Officer of Africa Tourism Partners, Kwakye Donkor said, "In the absence of Africa’s Travel Indaba in 2020 and 2021, Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit is an innovative initiative for promoting intra-Africa tourism and also for sharing insights into the “state of readiness” for South Africa and the rest Africa to welcome the world during and post-COVID-19 pandemic.

“I commend South African Tourism and the South African National Convention Bureau, for once again, showing commitment and leadership in tourism promotion across the continent. It will be so great to meet traditional and emerging trade partners again during the summit”.