Photo Credit: Stephen Gitau
South Africa Hosting Inaugural 'Africa's Travel And Tourism Summit'
The first ever Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit is coming to South Africa, according to SouthAfrica.net. Hosted by the Department of Tourism and South African Tourism, the summit will be held September 19-21 during South Africa’s Tourism Month.
The purpose of the event is to bring together community leaders, tourism boards, travel marketing companies, and other tourism-related businesses from across the continent to engage in dialogues surrounding the current state of tourism in Africa.
Sthembiso Dlamini, current acting CEO of South African Tourism, said topics discussed will include the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety protocols, aviation, technology, and challenges the tourism industry is facing. The goal is that through the sharing of perspectives and ideas, these professionals will form partnerships and collaborations that will precipitate the recovery of African nations’ tourism industries.
“The African continent is resilient and this summit is important, as it will contribute towards picking up the momentum within the sector, as it works towards an inclusive recovery,” said Dlamini.
“The COVID-19 pandemic may have dealt 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.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism and South African Tourism were forced to cancel other tourism-centered annual events; the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE)-focused Meetings Africa event, which typically occurs each February, and Africa’s Travel Indaba, which is held each May.
In order to ensure Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit goes on, participants will have the option of attending either in-person or virtually. In additional to several venues in South Africa, the event will also be held at three other locations across the continent. In-person venues will observe COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“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,” Dlamini said. “It is important that we are diligent in reigniting the sector, as it contributes significantly to the African economy.”