By Ebere Chibuzor
The organisers, Africa Tourism Day, ATD, Desigo Company has announced plans to hold November 26, 2020 event virtually.
The ATD annual event aimed hosting rotationally amongst African countries or group of countries and this explained that ATD will also feature a number of scintillating side events, including Photo Contest and Tree-Planting exercise which commenced on the 1st of November and culminate on the 24th of November 2020.
This was announced by Nigerian Tourism Development Consultant by Ambassador Abigail Olagbaye while revealing ATD theme as “Pandemic to Prosperity for Posterity, noting that the idea was conceived to celebrate the continent’s tourism and allied industry.
The idea being to inspire Africans, and diaspora African, to collectively reflect and celebrate thw people rich cultural heritage within continent.
African tourism industry has over years positively impacted on jobs creation, revenue generation, improved conservation efforts, cultural preservation, and significant addition to the continent’s gross domestic product.
According to Olagbaye, the overriding objective of this inaugural ATD 2020 is for Africans to celebrate their abundant cultural and natural tourism endowments.
The Day is equally conceived to draw global attention on African tourism developmental challenges, resultant of post Covid-19 pandemic, and to proffer actionable solutions to them.
Olagbaye, who mooted the idea of the forthcoming event celebration said, in a remark to reporters in Abuja Nigeria, “International travel restrictions imposed by countries in the height of the Covid-19 outbreak is adversely affecting Africa’s tourism destinations and host communities.
We are witnessing an unprecedented loss of jobs and revenue to operators and government at levels never seen before in African industry.
Tourism in Africa needs more attention from the international community to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Africans.”
She said that the event announcement has been well received by leading tourism stakeholders, operators and government officials in the continent.
It is perceived that the initiative will further project Africa as continent of choice for long-haul visitors and also foster intra-Africa tourism ventures.
Participation in the online celebration of the Africa Tourism Day 2020 is free, upon registration on the event website.
“There is a huge significance of having this celebrations and discussions at this time preceding the Launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area in January 2021.
As it sets off to herald a historical movement of trade and capital, skills, expertise, equipment, and more across continent, we must examine roles and impact of this on tourism.
Indeed, both trade and tourism should be complimentary even as there is a greater advocacy for intra regional travel and for domestic tourism in Africa.”
The ATD is in partnership with African Tourism Board and select high-networth delegation and professionals drawn across African tourism private sector.