#National News

16th Akwaaba African Travel Market to go virtual

Sep 8, 2020, 1:03 PM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

The sixteen edition of the Akwaaba African Travel Market, known to be the leading Pan-African Tourism Expo scheduled for 21st to 23rd September, 2020 will now go virtual.

The organizer of this popular event, which will be virtual for the first time, has chosen to organise the virtual event on the Zoom platform, amid the global coronavirus pandemic that has caused lockdown in global travel and tourism industry.

The theme for this year is‘Is MICE a Viable Pathway for Tourism Recovery in Africa?’. The Youth Tourism Confab and Diaspora Engagement will be held on September 22nd and 23rd respectively.

According to planned activities for the event, the MICE session will showcase tourism experts from the leading business tourism destinations in Africa and its special guest of honour is Tourism guru and presidential candidate in the Seychelles, Alain St. Ange.

In a brief remark, the host of the MICE session, Ambassador Ikechi Uko, a seasoned travel and tourism expert, who is also the organizer of the event, said the top 3 countries for MICE in Africa are South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya and in West Africa, Ghana is the market leader “according to ICCA annual rankings.”

While practical experience and savoir-faire are needed on the job to find a path to growth and profitability, he suggested that “we have put together the best brains on business tourism in Africa.”

With the emergence of a global lockdown and rise of remote conferencing, Uko asked ‘if there will be a return to face-to-face encounters, “are we going phygital which is the hybrid between physical and digital?”

Ambassador Uko further disclosed that Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism, Lilly Ajarova, CEO of Uganda Tourism Board, Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Jacinta Nzioka – National Coordinator Kenya Convention Bureau and Nelly Mukazayire CEO of Rwanda Convention Bureau, are the main cast for the conference, while Africa’s leading MICE expert, Rick Taylor will be the lead speaker and Alain St Ange, former Minister of Tourism for Seychelles and a presidential candidate in Seychelles will be the special guest.

The seasoned travel and tourism expert added that “experts say human cannot survive without congregating, while others think otherwise that conferences and events will help fight loneliness and depression’ How does Africa play in the new normal?”

Meanwhile, Akwaaba African Travel Market, the leading Pan-African Tourism Expo is the first travel and tourism fair in West Africa.

The annual event has managed to attract leading experts and stakeholders in the travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality industries from different parts of Africa and the world at large.

Several important dignitaries such as Presidents, Ministers, Ambassadors and High Commissioners from different parts of the world have graced the annual event. However, this year, which also marks the 16th edition of the Akwaaba event will be hosted as a virtual conference.

For registration to participate in the African Travel and Tourism Confab and Zoom Conference scheduled for Monday, 21st September, 2020 at 1400 hours Nigeria time; 1600 hours East African time contact exhibition@aftmtravel.com or akwaabatravelmarket@yahoo.com

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