The Africa Travel Association (ATA), a world leader in promoting tourism to Africa, has 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.”
Africa’s achievements have not gone unnoticed on the global stage, with World Travel Awards set to recognise the best in the industry during its Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony in Egypt later this year.
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 & 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 Congress Milestones
Congress milestones include the following:
ATA and the National Tour Association (NTA), the leading business-building association for travel professionals interested in the North American market - inbound, outbound, and within the continent - renewed their commitment to work together to promote travel and tourism to Africa by signing a new memorandum of understanding.
Yaw Nyarko, director of New York University’s Africa House, announced the forthcoming release of the second edition of State of Tourism in Africa, prepared by Africa House-New York University, the World Bank and ATA.
The report, which uses facts, figures, and stories to show the potential and impact of tourism across Africa, will be officially released at ATA’s upcoming Presidential Forum on Africa Tourism in September, parallel to the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly.
Citing UNWTO data, among other international sources such as WTTC, China Tourism Academy, World Economic Forum, and Expedia, Inc., the report presents the preliminary finding that Africa’s tourism arrivals grew from 37 million in 2003 to 63 million in 2010 and that arrivals to Africa continued to grow at a higher rate than overall arrivals in the world in 2010.
In addition, according to China Tourism Academy, Africa received 730,000 visitors from China in 2010, making it the smallest, but fastest-growing continental destination with a growth rate of 90% in comparison to 2009.
ATA hosted the largest delegation of students and young professionals to date with over 20 participants from more than five countries.
The Republic of Chad joined ATA as a member country.