…as 300 tourism experts dialogue in Accra
The African Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF), will assemble about 300 tourism delegates in Accra, August 30, to device strategies for a sustainable tourism growth across Africa.
ATLF will congregate key stakeholders from the continent’s travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors to network and share insights on travel and tourism progress, while enhancing Brand Africa’s equity.
The event, the first of its kind, in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), aims at promoting tourism as a major sustainable development pillar and core socio-economic diversification factor for Africa destinations with special focus on meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE).
With the value of the global MICE market expected to reach US$ 1.2 trillion by 2023, most countries in Africa are yet to fully utilize that aspect of tourism for maximum gains.
The MICE subsector of the tourism industry, as of 2016, was valued at US$752 billion globally.
While the industry itself forms about 10 percent of the overall tourism sector. It is reported that MICE delegates spend about five times the amount spent by regular tourists.
On the continent, South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya are doing fairly in that sector.
ATLF’s Founding Director and CEO of African Tourism Partners (ATP), Mr. Kwakye Donkor, explained to the Goldstreet Business that delegates will directly benefit from professional career development opportunities, learn how to run effective organizations, as well as the opportunities to engage with tourism ministries and departments.
“It will equip the private sector and small enterprises with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively engage government on issues impacting on the success of the industry,” Mr. Donkor said.
Explaining further, Mr. Donkor said, learning outcomes including knowledge on the creation of smart cities and tourist destinations, access to viable and sustainable business financing models, addressing organizational challenges through change leadership and management, will be some learning pathways at the event.
“Other networking and business linkages that we are offering at the event include meeting with captains of industry and policymaker, business-to-business match-making and private meetings and profile enhancement on a multi-level marketing platforms and portals,” Mr. Donkor stressed.
On the first day of the event, August 30, a master class on Sustainable Tourism Product Development (Leisure and Business Tourism), will be held, with the ultimate goal to optimize on the opportunities that the 21st century leisure and business tourism presents at national, continental and global levels.
Mr. Donkor maintained that the programme will offer a diverse comprehensive curriculum by a faculty comprising some of the world’s most experienced leaders and experts in Sustainable Tourism Product Development, Marketing and the MICE industry.
The masterclass he noted, is aimed at tourism product development professionals, conference organizers, event planners, industry suppliers including hotels, venues and caterers, corporations organizing internal or external conferences and events and providing incentive travel as motivational staff programmes.
Some expected benefits of the class include, leveraging on the existing meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) tourism opportunities to bid for mega and hall mark events while utilizing existing marketing channels, among others.
Notable topics that will be taught at the programme are, designing incentive travel products and packages for viable return on investment, key drivers for business tourism; the MICE perspective, optimizing convention bureaux to grow MICE; the case of Rwanda, significant of digital marketing for corporate and social events, critical skills development and capacity building for Africa’s tourism sector etc.
Other events including an award ceremony, will be held as part of the programme to honour deserving personalities and organizations who have played vibrant roles in promoting the continent’s tourism growth.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe