Accra to host inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Forum

The Africa Tourism Partners, with support of the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will host the Inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards on August 31, and September 1, 2018.

The event will contribute to alleviating issues of brand equity deficit that confronts Africa as a tourism destination.

Following the 25th International Tourism Safety Conference organized by the International Tourism Safety Association held from the April 15 – 18 2018 at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, United States, the upcoming event in Accra, will heavily centre on tourism branding.

The conference in the US, covered topics including the enhancement of the brand equity of Africa beyond safety and security, Israeli model of security regulation, tourism security, European perspective on crimes against tourists and how to pro-actively address the impact of safety and security in tourism marketing.

The conference provided delegates with new information, trends, strategies and best practices in keeping tourists safe.

Speaking about Destination Africa and the forthcoming event in Accra, the CEO of African Tourism Partners, Kwakye Donkor said, Africa is a multi-faceted destination with 54 unique destinations, and tourists to Africa will always be spoilt for choice.

“Africa is a continent and a world in one continent with unique attractions, vibrant culture and experiences beyond wildlife. Even though tourism safety and security is an issue, it all depends on whether one sees the glass as half full or half empty, but to me, the glass is always half full,” he explained

Mr. Donkor stressed that, the issue of tourism safety and security in Africa is not as bad as it is in other parts of the world, simply because African countries and their security agencies know the hot spots of safety and security, and are pro-actively dealing with these.

“Our major challenge, however, is brand equity and perception deficit the continent faces. Therefore, African governments, particularly, tourism agencies and their parent ministries will have to collaborate with their private sector entities to change these perceptions. If not, the momentum building and creating more power brand Africa will not just continue of its own accord.” He emphasized.

This effort has been recognized by one of the leading African tourism media, Voyages Afriq, which has just joined the Forum’s media partnership.

“We hope this will put more spotlight on Africa’s tourism attractiveness, good stories, investment opportunities and enhance positive perceptions rather than focusing on its safety, securities and other socio-economic challenges only,” Mr. Donkor said.

President of the International Tourism Safety Association and Executive Director of Customer Safety for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Ray Suppe, said the safety and security of visitors and residents is a top priority for any destination’s tourism industry, so it’s imperative to be aware of the current trends and information.

“For more than two decades, Las Vegas has proudly hosted this important conference where tourism security officials can come together to learn, grown and develop professionally,” he said.

Other Conference presentations included views from India, Europe and the Americas on tourism and terrorism, making safety and security a requirement in tourism, destination marketing and hospitality training, art crime and museums and preventative measures.

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