Leaders in Africa gather in Botswana to look into intra-Africa travel

Intra-Africa travel through intra-Africa trade is expected to top the agenda when the tourism industry’s thought leaders on the continent engage in roundtable discussions in Gaborone in Botswana. This as the fifth Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) kicks off at the Gaborone International Convention Centre of the Grand Palm Hotel on Monday until Wednesday.

According to the data released by GlobalData in June, Morocco was named the most popular destination in Africa and was expected to welcome 8.7 million international arrivals in 2022, followed by Egypt with an expectation of 7.9 million visitors, South Africa with 6.8 million visitors and Tunisia and Zimbabwe with 6.1 million visitors and 1.6 million visitors respectively.

GlobalData’s traveller demands and flows database also showed that France, Spain and Germany were forecast to be the largest source markets for Morocco, while Germany, Saudi Arabia and Israel would be the largest source markets for South Africa in 2022.

The ATFL in Botswana will look into changing the picture by looking at ways to encourage intra-Africa travel.

More than 400 delegates from more than 40 countries including leaders and experts of various national tourism organisations and key stakeholders in the travel, tourism and related industries, with over 1500 online delegates are expected to attend the event.

According to the ATLF, the forum aims to advance entrepreneurship, women and youth empowerment and recognise industry changemakers.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday morning.

An award ceremony to mark the end of the proceedings is expected to take place on Wednesday.

The ATLF says with more than 160 nominations received from across Africa, 2022 marks the highest number of entries received since the inception of the awards in 2018.

“This calls for all stakeholders in the industry to meet in Gaborone, connect, communicate and share experiences and ideas on how travel by Africans and for Africans may be packaged in a way that is affordable, enticing and remains authentic to the culture and traditions of the travel destination,” reads in part the ATFL statement.

“Additionally ministerial talk will focus on ensuring affordable regional air connectivity by advocating for African counties to unblock dialogue,” the statement continues.

Last year, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) – the agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism – announced 44 Best Tourism Villages 2021 in the world with six of those being from Africa.

Wonchi in Ethiopia situated about 150 km west of Addis Ababa came out top, followed by Olergesailie, located in the southern region of Kenya, among others.

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