Africa Tourism Leadership Forum sets the pace for tourism
Like Uganda, the Tourism sector of most African countries has been struggling for a breakthrough, but without much luck. In an effort to find a lasting solution, this year’s edition of the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) has been dedicated to promoting tourism as a major sustainable development pillar and core socio-economic diversification factor for African destinations.
Currently being hosted at South Africa’s Durban International Convention center, ATLF is a Pan-African dialogue platform that brings together key stakeholders from Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors to network, share insights and devise strategies for sustainable travel and tourism development across the continent, while enhancing Brand Africa’s equity.
Themed Stimulating intra-Africa Travel through Thought Leadership, the three day event which will be crowned tomorrow(30/August) is hosting over twenty (20) world-renowned speakers (including African Ministers and Business Leaders), over three hundred (300) delegates (including professionals, policy makers, government officials, investors and entrepreneurs) from over thirty (30) countries.
According to the UNWTO, Africa’s tourism sector accounts for 1 in 10 jobs globally and 1 in 14 regionally. WTTC Global Outlook Report (2017) anticipated that the sector will support over 380 million jobs, by 2027. In Africa, tourism has demonstrated to have the potential to be a powerful path for economic diversification and development, given the abundance and variety of tourism resources. It is considered a continent of wonders in the tourism world. One can find so much in our beautiful continent, not least of which is the Gorillas in Uganda, Big5, unique species of flora, and other wonders like the Serengeti Migration.
In spite of these, the sector’s contribution to African economies remains short of a full recognition.
”It is in line with such claims that the ATLF is being convened to give the sector the deserved recognition and foster a culture of sustainable leadership within the sector.” Observes MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube
Further to that, the event is meant to re-echo the need to address climate change by developing the tourism sector in a way that meets developmental objectives which includes sustainability. “Its partly because of this that the United Nations World Tourism Organization has dedicated the event to highlighting the fact that there are so many changes in the world’s climate and consequences of flora, fauna and of course the people.’’ Says H.E Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the organization.
Story by Solomon Oleny, Pictures by Edgar Batte.