The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism hosted Africa's first ever Travel and Tourism Summit from 19 to 21 September 2021. The hybrid summit, hosted in three African cities namely Johannesburg, Durban and Lagos coincided with Tourism Month in South Africa. Profs Anneli Douglas and Elizabeth du Preez from the Department of Marketing Management at the University of Pretoria were invited to share their views at this prestigious inaugural summit.
Centred on the theme of ‘re-awakening Africa’, the summit called on all tourism players throughout the continent and world to reflect on, reimagine and reignite the sector in a world still impacted by COVID-19. The various sessions presented throughout the three days shared insights and ideas towards collaborative efforts on the African continent that can lead to recovery. Some of the major topics discussed at the summit included regenerating demand in the source markets, aviation, streamlining visas and tourist movement, innovation, technology, the health and safety protocols currently in place, as well as the continent's positioning post the COVID-19 pandemic.
Various industry leaders across the African continent shared their insights at the summit, such as South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu; the Director General of Tourism, Victor Tharage; Acting CEO of South African Tourism, Sthembiso Dlamini; the CEOs of the Tourism Boards of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia and Ghana, and the CEOs and chairpersons of various industry associations, including the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, the South African Association for the Conference Industry, the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, and Africa Travel and Tourism Association.
Prof Du Preez
was part of a panel to discuss the topic ‘rewriting destination marketing in a global world gone local’. Other panel members were the CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board, the Chief Marketing Officer of Wesgro, as well as the advisor to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Prof Du Preez also interviewed Bronwyn Williams, an economist, futurist and trend analyst, on understanding how to re-tap into source markets and making them relevant.
moderated a panel discussion on exploiting intra-Africa travel to build resilient tourism in a post-pandemic environment. Panellists included the CEO of Zimbabwe Tourism, the CEO of the Tourism Business Council and the Chairperson of the Africa Travel and Tourism Association. In addition, Prof Douglas was part of an expert dialogue to discuss how to build a resilient post-COVID-19 business events industry. Her fellow panellists were the Chief Convention Bureau Officer of the South Africa National Convention Bureau and the Director of Conferences and Marketing at Arusha International Conference Centre in Tanzania.
The African continent is resilient, and this summit proved the commitment of all stakeholders involved in the tourism industry to regain momentum within the sector, as it works towards an inclusive recovery. The industry is now in the recovery phase and with a shared vision, alignment as a continent is essential.
The summit highlighted the role that academia has to play in generating knowledge on the new normal and tourism research generated by tertiary institutions, such as the work done at the University of Pretoria, have a key role to play. Visit the Tourism Management Division at the University of Pretoria for more information on the different Tourism Management degree offerings: http://www.up.ac.za/tourism