Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit is set to take place between 19-21 September 2021.
The Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban and the Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja in Nigeria will host numerous panel discussions, workshops and TED talks.
This year’s theme is “Re-awakening Africa”, and the summit is calling on all tourism players throughout the continent to reflect, reimagine and reignite the sector in a world still ravaged by Covid-19.
The pandemic might have dented the sector in the last 19 months, but it presents tourism with an opportunity to create something new.
In the case of the summit, South African Tourism has organised a hybrid event, meaning it will be held
both physically and virtually and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
The summit includes an eclectic mix of topics that range from how to ease travel across borders on the continent. to packaging African travel in a post- Covid world, all with the overarching message that Africa is open for business.
Chief convention bureau officer at South African Tourism, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, said the summit presented Africa with the opportunity to create a platform that would demonstrate the continent’s tenacity in rebuilding the tourism sector through knowledge and partnerships.
“We must remember that African tourism belongs to all 54 nations on the continent. It means tourism stakeholders
from each of those countries can come together to find ways of making travel to our continent easier and more inviting to global tourists,” said Kotze-Nhlapo.
Africa’s tourism industry faces numerous challenges in its bid to rebuild. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) says the tourism industry is unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels until 2023 or later.
Additionally, the World Travel and Tourism Council reported that Africa’s tourism sector experienced an exponential decrease of $83 billion (R1.2 trillion) and a loss of 7.2 million jobs in 2020.
Despite these setbacks, Kotze-Nhlapo remains upbeat about the sector’s future.
“Governments across Africa, as well as the African Union, are ensuring a steady rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations. It is also implementing the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. These are signs that Africa is gearing up for tourism.”