Intra-African travel through intra-African trade is expected to be high on the agenda when the continent’s tourism industry leaders participate in roundtable discussions in Gaborone, Botswana. This is the fifth African Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) which kicks off at the Gaborone International Convention Center at the Grand Palm Hotel from Monday to Wednesday.
According to data published by GlobalData in June, Morocco was named the most popular destination in Africa and is expected to welcome 8.7 million international visits in 2022, followed by Egypt with expectations 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 passenger demand and flows database also showed that France, Spain and Germany are projected to be the largest markets for Morocco, while Germany, Saudi Arabia and Israel will be the largest markets for South Africa in 2022.
ATFL in Botswana will try to change the picture by looking at ways to promote travel within Africa.
More than 400 delegates from more than 40 countries, including leaders and experts from various national tourism organizations and key stakeholders in the travel, tourism and related industries, with over 1,500 online delegates are expected to attend the event.
According to ATLF, the forum aims to promote entrepreneurship, women and youth empowerment and recognize people who are changing the industry.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday morning.
An awards ceremony is expected to be held on Wednesday to mark the end of the proceedings.
ATLF says with more than 160 nominations received from across Africa, 2022 marks the highest number of entries received since the awards began in 2018.
“This calls on all industry stakeholders to meet in Gaborone, connect, network and share experiences and ideas on how travel by and for Africans can be packaged in a way that is accessible, engaging and remains authentic about the culture and traditions of the travel destination,” the ATFL statement read in part.
“Furthermore, ministerial talks will focus on ensuring affordable regional air connectivity by advocating for African countries to unblock dialogue,” the statement continued.
Last year, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – the agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism – announced the 44 best tourist villages for 2021 in the world, with six of them from Africa.
Wonchi in Ethiopia, located about 150 km west of Addis Ababa, came out on top, followed by Olergesailie, located in the southern region of Kenya, among others.