The much anticipated sixth edition of the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Award, was held between the 4th and 6th of October, 2023, at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) in Botswana themed “Shifting Demand Dynamics to Shape the Future of intra-Africa Travel.”
The three day event was filled with thought-provoking discussions on the future of African tourism.
The event also included the Opening Ceremony, AfCFTA Inauguration, Intra-Africa Travel B2B Sessions, Cultural Night and the ATLF 2023 Awards.
At the opening ceremony, Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana, Hon Slumber Tsogwane, cautioned against over-commercialisation of African cultural heritage products. He noted that “This can lead to the erosion of authenticity in the quest for a quick profit.”
On her part, Botswana’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, Ms Philda Nani Kereng, acknowledged the opportunity to incorporate innovative technological solutions to support industries and to embrace new ones such as digital tourism. She also emphasised the necessity of coordinating tourism-related industries to completely expand prospects for young people and industry stakeholders, particularly in the SME sector.
The Botswana Minister of Environment and Tourism submitted this during her welcome remakes during the opening ceremony of the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards. Ms. Kereng noted that the incorporation of technology and innovative solutions will also facilitate and support the upscaling of the industries to support existing supply chains and develop new ones such as digital tourism
The role and benefits of agri-tourism in the travel and tourism industry and the promotion of Intra- Africa travel, trade and business exchange has come under the spotlight at the 6th edition of the Africa Tourism leadership forum in Gaborone, Botswana.
Over 500 key tourism public and private sector leaders and other stakeholders from across Africa and the rest of the world – have gathered to share insights – and devise strategies for tourism growth under the theme shifting demand to shape the future of intra Africa travel.
The 2023 Forum has been designed to elevate dialogue around improved and favorable conditions to strengthen intra-Africa connectivity, reduce cost of air travel while stimulating demand and ensuring that intra-Africa travel markets are open to visitors and investors.
UNWTO Senior Expert on Communications in Africa, Koji Bentum-Williams says Africa needs to realize that the world has changed and invest more in technological development and infrastructure.
Africa tourism leaders and practitioners at the Africa tourism Leadership Forum in Botswana have resolved to step up the promotion of the various cultures and tourist sites leveraging the digital space. Botswana Tourism Minister Philda Nani Kereng says the voice of young people at the forum championed the diverse and rich African cultures.
Emily Mburu-Ndoria also stressed that the continent needs to streamline trade regulations for improved advocacy, marketing, and investment in tourism if it wants to better market its brand while the Minister of Tourism for South Africa, Patricia de Lille, emphasized the importance of promoting “Brand Africa” authentically and quickening the sector’s revival. Speaking from the standpoint of the government, she stated that African countries must encourage the private sector and establish a forum for communication between the two.
The panelists’ conclusion emphasized the necessity of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for the expansion and improvement of Africa’s tourist sector.
They also urged the AfCFTA to release action plans that would hasten the plans’ execution while also putting young people and women at the centre of forward-thinking tourism activities and policies.
“The vision for the continent has to be greater than the few that are benefiting now and this means they’re here to be uniformity among the African states.” That’s according to Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, Tourism Business Council of South Africa CEO.
Reporters At Large: https://www.reportersatlarge.com/2023/10/04/atlf2023-african-tourism-so-huge-but-remains-untapped-kwakye-donkor/ Reporters At Large: https://www.reportersatlarge.com/2023/10/04/atlf2023-botswana-vice-president-slumber-tsogwane-cautions-against-over-commercialisation-of-african-cultural-heritage-products/