Intra-African travel through intra-African trade is expected to be high on the agenda when thought leaders from the continent’s tourism industry engage in roundtables in Gaborone, Botswana. This is the fifth Africa 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 released by GlobalData in June, Morocco was named Africa’s most popular destination and is 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 and 1.6 million visitors respectively.
GlobalData’s Traveler Demands and Flows database also showed that France, Spain and Germany are expected to be the main source markets for Morocco, while Germany, Saudi Arabia and Israel would be the top source markets for South Africa in 2022.
The ATFL in Botswana will seek to be a game changer by looking at ways to encourage intra-African travel.
Over 400 delegates from over 40 countries, including leaders and experts from various national tourism organizations and key players in 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, empower women and youth, and recognize industry changemakers.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday morning.
An awards ceremony to mark the end of the work is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
According to the ATLF, with over 160 nominations received from across Africa, 2022 marks the highest number of nominations received since the awards were established in 2018.
“This calls on all industry stakeholders to meet in Gaborone, connect, communicate and share experiences and ideas on how travel by Africans and for Africans can be organized in a way affordable, attractive and remains authentic to the culture and traditions of the travel destination,” the ATFL statement reads in part.
“Furthermore, the ministerial discussions will focus on ensuring affordable regional air connectivity by advocating for African countries to unlock 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 44 best tourist villages 2021 in the world, including six in 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.