The Africa Travel Association (ATA) announced today that the Republic of Cameroon will host the 38th Annual ATA World Congress, ATA’s largest international tourism industry meeting, in 2013. The congress will bring together hundreds of tourism leaders and professionals from government, business and nonprofit sectors to promote tourism development to and across Africa from around the world.
“At our 37th Congress in Zimbabwe in May 2012, we brought together more than 500 industry professionals to explore how tourism, with growth rates in emerging markets outperforming more established destinations, is one of the most promising industries on the African continent for development,” said ATA Executive Director Edward Bergman. “Building on this incredible momentum, we are excited to partner with our longtime member Cameroon to bring tourism professionals looking to do business in Africa to the country, where delegates will have the opportunity to build new connections, learn about the latest industry trends, and explore the country’s newest products.”
ATA and Cameroon trace their roots back to 2004 and 1987, when Cameroon hosted ATA’s hallmark event in the country’s largest city Douala. In 2001, ATA held its Eco-Tourism Symposium in the capital Yaounde.
The 2013 event will be hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure under the auspices of Honorable Minister Bello Bouba Maigari, who expressed his vision to bring ATA back to Cameroon at ATA’s last U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar in March in Washington DC. The Minister recently remarked, “You want to visit Africa and experience its vast diversity and legendary hospitality in one stop? Come to Cameroon: Africa in Miniature.”
ATA’s annual event in Africa offers a unique networking, learning and agenda-shaping platform for the most diverse group of buyers and sellers of Destination Africa of any travel industry event on the continent. Participants include African tourism ministers, industry professionals representing tourism boards, travel agencies and tour operators, conference and incentive operators, ground operators, airlines, and hotels, as well as the travel trade media. Participants from the corporate, non profit and academic sectors are also expected to attend along with leaders of the African Diaspora.
The ATA congress offers a line-up of educational and professional development seminars for travel professionals. Topics include social media, branding and marketing, attracting media coverage, product development, growth markets, cultural tourism, culinary tourism, airline access, and the latest travel trends in Africa. A wide range of networking events, including receptions and gala dinners will also be held.
Delegates will have the opportunity to explore Destination Cameroon’s products, including an abundance of natural and cultural resources with strong cultural heritage and eco-tourism products ripe for growth, during Host Country tours and learn about the newest hotels, offerings and incentives. Pre and post congress trips are also available.
Further details on the event and Cameroon will be posted at http://africatravelassociation.org/events/ac.html.