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Africa Travel Association set to host 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda

By Chuks Nwanne
19 August 2017   |   3:39 am
President and CEO of the Corporate Council of Africa, Florizelle Liser, says CCA aims to use the conference to encourage investments and policies that contribute to the sector’s growth.

Africa Travel Association (ATA), a division of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), is set to host the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda next month. The conference will hold in Kigali, Rwanda from August 28-31.

Conference To Highlight Opportunities Tourism Can Bring To African Economies

Africa Travel Association (ATA), a division of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), is set to host the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda next month. The conference will hold in Kigali, Rwanda from August 28-31.

The conference will highlight the opportunities tourism can bring to African economies, how it can spur economic growth and job creation across the continent. Hence, it would attract African leaders, international investors, and travel professionals.

ATA in a statement noted that in less than 15 years, Africa’s travel and hospitality sectors have quadrupled in size, and according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), remains one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia. The statement further read that the sector’s growth presents enormous opportunities provided it is managed sustainably.

The conference, to be host by ATA and the Rwandan Development Board (RDB), will particularly focus on the innovative business models, new technologies and strategic partnerships growing the sector, and recognise the countries and businesses leading the way in sustainable tourism.

President and CEO of the Corporate Council of Africa, Florizelle Liser, says CCA aims to use the conference to encourage investments and policies that contribute to the sector’s growth.

“The tourism conference will highlight opportunities in the tourism sector and intersecting sectors such as infrastructure, ICT, health, real estate development, and finance. Through strategic partnerships, we will also offer capacity building workshops for travel professionals of all levels,” she said.

Adding, “I look forward to working with [RDB CEO] Ms. Akamanzi and her team at RDB to showcase what Rwanda has to offer.”

This year will be the first time ATA Tourism Conference will be hosted in Rwanda, one of East Africa’s premier tourism destinations and one whose sector have continue to grow. According to the RDB, Rwanda’s tourism sector generated US$303 million in revenue, in 2014 up from three percent in the previous year.

On the sidelines of what is expected to be a packed agenda, ATA is working with Facebook to deliver training to SMEs in Kigali. Tagged ‘Boost Your Business’, is an initiative developed by Facebook and facilitated by Digify Africa. It is designed to train and upskill small business owners on how to leverage digital tools to grow their businesses. The training would hold on August 26 at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

The conference also aligns with Kwita Izina, Rwanda’s annual gorilla naming ceremony, a national celebration that creates awareness of the country’s efforts to protect the mountain gorillas and their habit, the jewel of Rwanda’s tourism crown.

Established in 1975, ATA serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry, and its membership comprises of African governments, their tourism ministers, tourism bureaus and boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, front-line travel sellers and providers, tour operators and travel agents, and affiliate industries. ATA partners with the African Union Commission (AU) to promote the sustainable development of tourism to and across Africa.