The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism will host the first ‘Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit’, from September 19 to 21, coinciding with Tourism Month in South Africa.
Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit aims to be a catalyst for engagement on the current state of tourism on the African continent. Taking into account challenges facing the global tourism industry, the summit will, through various engagement sessions, gather the tourism sector to share insights and ideas to explore collaborative efforts that can lead to recovery.
Some of the major topics for discussion will include aviation, innovation, technology, the health and safety protocols currently in place, as well as the continent’s positioning post the COVID-19 pandemic.
SA Tourism acting ceo, Sthembiso Dlamini, said Africa was resilient and that the summit would contribute to picking up the momentum within the sector as it worked toward an inclusive recovery.
“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,” said Sthembiso.
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 – depending on COVID-19 lockdown regulations. All venues will have COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place.
“We have opted for the hybrid format in order for us, as a continent, to lead the way in demonstrating how tourism can be enjoyed safely whilst adhering to health protocols. It is important that we are diligent in reigniting the sector, as it contributes significantly to the African economy,” added Sthembiso.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism as well as South African Tourism were not able to host the MICE-focused Meetings Africa and leisure-focused Africa’s Travel Indaba 2021 editions, which usually take place in February and May annually.
While Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit should not be seen as a replacement, it does provide a platform to showcase Africa’s leisure tourism offerings and business event capabilities.
“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,” said Kwakye Donkor, ceo of Africa Tourism Partners.
“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. Well done to Team South African Tourism! We look forward to a very fruitful summit,” he said.
Dedicated SME day
Committed to ongoing transformation and development of the South African tourism industry, Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit will feature a dedicated day to empower SMMEs in the sector on September 19.
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