Three host cities make Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit a continental spectacle

Johannesburg, Durban and Lagos have been confirmed as host cities for the inaugural Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit, taking place from September 19-21, 2021.

The Sandton Convention Centre, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre and the Marriot Lagos Ikeja are the venues that will host the event’s numerous panel discussions, workshops and TED talks.

Centred on the theme of Re-awakening Africa, the Summit calls on all tourism players throughout the continent and all our global tourism friends and partners 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, held both physically and virtually and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

The Summit includes an eclectic mix of topics that ranges 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.

According to Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer, South African Tourism, the summit presents Africa with the opportunity to create a platform that will 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”, she said.

Read also: Africa & Travel & Tourism Summit set to take off in September

Africa’s tourism industry faces numerous challenges in its bid to rebuild. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said 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 US$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. In South Africa, the government is implementing the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan that seeks to restore the tourism economy and recover lost jobs. These are signs that Africa is gearing up for tourism. The Summit will go a long way in showcasing to the world Africa’s readiness to welcome tourists within the continent and abroad.”

However, a novel feature of the hybrid summit is that participants can personalise the sessions you wish to attend in any of the three host cities. Delegates outside of Africa can design their schedules according to their time zone so that they can also be a part of the Summit and benefit from all it has to offer.

Delegates can choose to attend the Summit physically or virtually. However, physical attendance is limited and not guaranteed. All venues will adhere to strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Would-be participants can select sessions using the Business Matchmaking tool. It will also match them with the right delegates for one-on-one sessions based on the information they have provided in their profile, thus creating a great opportunity to connect and share knowledge with fellow industry stakeholders.

Register now for Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit and be a part of a new, reawakened Africa.

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