Africa Tourism Continues to Grow at Higher Rate than Overall World Arrivals; ATA Reaches New Milestones at Annual World Congress in Dakar, Senegal
New York, NY – The Africa Travel Association, a world leader in promoting tourism to Africa, announced major industry milestones at the travel trade association’s 36th Annual World Congress in Senegal. ATA’s hallmark event brings together tourism leaders and professionals from around the world to shape Africa’s growing travel industry.
“ATA is incredibly pleased with the outcomes of the congress and is confident they will have a positive impact on the tourism industry in Senegal and across Africa,” said Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director. “These achievements are an integral part of the story of the growing importance of the industry in Africa and we expect they will encourage a spike in the number of arrivals to and investments in Africa’s emerging and well-known destinations.”
Under the banner “Destination Senegal: A Tourism Gateway Inspired by Culture, Heritage and Arts,” the event was hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts, Liaison with the Private Sector and Small Businesses, in cooperation with the Senegalese Tourism Authority. South African Airways served as the presenting sponsor.
Delegates included six tourism ministers (Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone), the African Union Commissioner responsible for tourism, 16 tourism ministry representatives, approximately 200 tourism leaders and professionals, businesses and non-governmental organization participants, students, and travel trade media. Delegates came from more than 30 countries.
ATA hosted a roundtable for tourism ministers on the second day of the congress. The discussion focused on current challenges and future prospects for the industry, building on the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the African Union Commission and ATA. Participating ministers included Hon. Minister Thierno Lo, Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts, Liaison with the Private Sector & Small Businesses, Senegal; Hon. Fatou Mas Jobe Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, The Gambia, President, Africa Travel Association; Hon. Minister Akua Sena Dansua, Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Ghana; Hon. Minister Aissa Bright, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Republic of Liberia; and Hon. Victoria Sylvia Saidu-Kamara, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs of the Re! public of Sierra Leone. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, also participated.
The four-day networking and learning event engaged delegates in discussions on a range of industry topics, such as new product development and brand positioning, culinary tourism, airlift to Africa, hotels, online marketing, responsible tourism, public-private partnership, advertising, tourism development levels, and trans-Atlantic communication with tour operators. The program also included a special reception co-hosted by The Gambia ATA Chapter, under the auspices of ATA President Hon. Fatou Mas Jobe Njie and Le Méridien President.
Speakers at the congress included representatives from Advancing Tourism to Africa (ATTA), Africa Consult Group-Production Travel & Tours, the African Union Commission, Amadeus, Arik Air, The Bradford Group, Expedia, Fuel Outdoor, National Tour Association (NTA), Passport Health, South African Airways, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, among many others.