Maiden edition of the Africa Tourism Day is expected to hold virtually this November 26.
The Africa Tourism Day is a newly created annual event which will be hosted on a rotational among African countries or group of countries, and 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.
The idea of an Africa Tourism Day was conceived to celebrate the continent’s Tourism and allied industry, as well as to inspire Africans, and the Diaspora, to collectively reflect and celebrate the diversity and rich cultural heritage of the continent.
The African tourism industry has over the years positively impacted on jobs creation, revenue generation, improved conservation efforts, cultural preservation, and significant addition to the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Accordingly, the overriding objective of this inaugural Africa Tourism Day 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. This obviously informed the theme of Africa Tourism Day 2020, as “Pandemic to Prosperity for Posterity.”
Mrs. Abigail Olagbaye, who mooted the idea of an Africa Tourism Day celebration said, in a remark to reporters in Abuja that the; “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.”
The announcement of the Africa Tourism Day event 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 the 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.
A statement on the Africa Tourism Day 2020 website reads, “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 the AfCFTA sets off to herald a historical movement of trade and capital, skills, expertise, equipment, and more across the continent, we must examine the 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.”
Organisers of Africa Tourism Day 2020 comprise; Desigo Company – led by Ambassador Abigail Olagbaye, a Nigerian Tourism Development Consultant – working in partnership with African Tourism Board and select high-networth delegation and professionals drawn from across African tourism private sector.