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Honour comes for top African tour operators At Akwaaba 2018

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A cross section of women in tourism honoured at the Akwaaba 2017

As stakeholders in the travel and tourism sector prepare for this year’s Akwaaba African Travel Market, the organisers in collaboration with ATQ News, a leading travel portal, has announced that Africa Top 100 Tour Operators awards and recognition will take place at the 14th edition of the travel market.

Billed to open on September 9 and run through September 11, at the Eko hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the three-day show is expected to host travel and tourism stakeholders from different parts of the world, as well as tourism agencies, who will use the platform to sell their offerings.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Founding member of the #TeamAfrica, Mr. Ikechi Uko, who is also the Organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, expressed his excitement about the awards, promising participants a bumper package.

“Last year, we celebrated the awards of the Africa Travel 100 Women at the 13th Akwaaba Travel Market.

During that event, top of the class, great and industrious women, who have established themselves in and are still driving the growth of travel business from across Africa, gathered in Lagos for that memorable Africa Travel 100 Women awards.

The resounding reception, feedback and transformation that event set forth in Africa, coupled with the massive acceptance we received from every country in Africa and beyond, was great.

Today, many countries have set up Women in Tourism organisations and we are proud to have helped set it off,” he enthused.

The vision of the initiative, Ukoh said, is to stimulate intra Africa Tourism and create a platform for collaboration among practitioners in the continent.

“We need to get at least 10% of Africans to travel within Africa; this can only work with the support of tour operators.

We are going a step further this year to recognise and celebrate the core professional outbound tour operators, who are at the fore of attracting and moving Africans outside their own countries to explore the abundance of the beauties of our Africa.”

He noted that Africa remains a great goldmine, whose tourism potentials remain unmatched and untapped, adding, “so, you can nominate your Top 5 of such Operators.

Nominations should be only for tour operators, who do outbound tours to other African countries.

Nominations should be sent to atqnewsawards@gmail.com before the 23rd of July 2018,” he said.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region where travel and tourism competitiveness is the least developed.

Though regional performance has increased, it has improved less compared to other parts of the world, even as Southern Africa remains the strongest sub-region, followed by Eastern Africa and then Western Africa.

Yet, on average, Eastern Africa is the most improved region, while Southern Africa has experienced a slight decline.

And that considering the size and the rich cultural and natural resources, the 63 million tourists visiting the continent in 2017 remain low.

It is against this background that the Africa Top 100 Tour Operators were chosen; only Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) that market mainly Regional Destinations were selected.

Africa is a continent of over 1 billion people, but receives only 6% of the global tourist Arrivals.

As the middle class and number of travellers increase, there is a need to organise the tourism and travel landscape by growing scale.

The 14th Akwaaba African Travel Market will also host Africa Tour Operators Conference.

Holding under the theme, The Role of DMCs and DMOs in Sustainable Destination Marketing in Africa, the conference will answer questions such as, what are the challenges?

Should it be competition or corporation? What are the effective models, and who is responsible?


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