Hosted by the Government of Botswana through the Botswana Tourism Organisation in collaboration with Africa Tourism Partners, UNWTO and AfCFTA, the 6th Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards was a resounding success. Held from 04 to 06 October at the Grand Palm International Convention Centre in Gaborone Botswana, Intra-Africa Travel and Business preceded ATLF 2023 to Business Exchange meetings, Women in Tourism and Tourism Entrepreneurship Masterclasses that UNISA and international MICE knowledge partners delivered.
As part of the ATLF 2023 success story, it is worth noting that the AfCFTA hosted inaugural AfCFTA Forum on Tourism, Creatives, and Cultural Industries simultaneously with the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards 2023.
The AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Services is a platform that celebrates dynamic sectors, recommend solutions and advances Africa’s economic competitiveness through sustainable tourism and cultural development and seeks to ignite intra-African trade and empowerment, reinforcing a unified vision for a culturally enriched Africa.
Officially opened His Honour, the Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, UNWTO Secretary General- Zurab Pololikashvili, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Philda Nani Kereng and H.E. Elias Mpedi Magosi, SADC Executive Secretary, the Forum was attended by Pan-African and globally renowned travel and tourism industry thought-leaders, policymakers, investors and key stakeholders. Over 700 physical and over 1200 virtual delegates over three (3) days from over 42 countries attended ATLF 2023.
Among the lead partners are BDO, Millvest Advisory, Industry Development Corporation (IDC), Marriott International, Protea Hotel Gaborone Masa Square, ICCA, South Africa Airways, Air Link, Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino, Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone, Grandeur Rentals.
Over 78 renowned faculty members delivered transformational speeches interactive panel discussions, and insightful presentations, Shabnam Vadachia, South African Airways, Manager Market South Africa had this to say, “The event was of an exceptionally high standard, akin to those I have attended on a global stage. My special commendation is to the young lady who managed the time and coordination of the program, she was in my books, your unsung heroine as it’s never easy to time-keep a huge event and she did a stellar job”.
About 30 buyers and tourism associations from across the globe participated at the event. Zaim Muhammad, Travel & Tourism Consultant from Dubai echoed his sentiments about the Forum. “ATLF gave me substantial experience. Since I am already promoting Africa as a Destination in the Middle East, my meetings with the African key players have enhanced my relationship and it will take us to the long-term collaboration. It has given more insights to highlight the divers and unique tourism offerings in Africa with a focus on the cultural, historical, and natural attractions”.
More than 20 international and continental media houses provided coverage of the event. The media houses include BBC News, SABC, Botswana Broadcasting Corporation, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Tanzania Safari Channel, TV3 Ghana, Newzroom Africa, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Business Events Africa, Africa.com, ATA, Voyages Afriq, Channel Africa, ATC News, Gallivant Africa, WeniGlam Travel Magazine, Daily Southern and East Africa Tourism Update and Jet Sanza,