The 2017 World Tourism Conference will mark many firsts: This will be the first time ATA’s Tourism Conference will be hosted in Rwanda. It will also be the first time ATA’s flagship conference is hosted under new leadership at RDB and CCA. Ms. Clare Akamanzi was appointed as the new CEO of RDB on February 9, 2017 and Ms. Florizelle Liser began her tenure as the third President and CEO of CCA on January 23, 2017.
“Through ATA, CCA aims to promote Africa as a premier tourist destination and support investment and policies that contribute to the industry’s growth,” said CCA President and CEO, Florizelle Liser. “The tourism conference will highlight opportunities in the tourism sector and intersecting sectors such as infrastructure, ICT, health, real estate development, and finance. Through strategic partnerships, we will also offer capacity building workshops for travel professionals of all levels. I look forward to working with Ms. Akamanzi and her team at RDB to showcase all that Rwanda has to offer to all parties of the tourism ecosystem.”
Africa’s travel and hospitality industry has quadrupled in size in less than 15 years, and according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia. Travel and tourism’s impact on the economic and social development of African countries can be enormous. Hon. Dr Walter Mzembi (MP), the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe spoke about these opportunities at CCA’s 2017 U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Washington D.C. on June 15, 2017, asking the important question of whether Africa can accommodate the millions of tourists expected from around the world, including from China. ““To get there we must guarantee barrier free, safe and secure travel that starts with Africa visiting itself,” said Hon. Mzembi.
The 41st Annual World Tourism Conference will bring together African leaders, international investors and travel professionals to set the stage for how tourism can be utilized as an engine for economic growth and job creation across the continent. The conference will especially focus on innovative business models, new technologies and strategic partnerships. The event will also provide a platform to network and explore new tourism markets and products including the promotion and preservation of Africa’s rich cultural heritage and wildlife.
The Conference will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), a state of the art facility comprised of a five-star hotel with 292 rooms, a conference hall that can host 5,500 people, several meeting rooms, as well as an office park.
To learn more about ATA’s upcoming World Tourism Conference, please visit www.ataRwanda.com.
Photos, top to bottom:
1.) Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
2.) Guests dressed in traditional attire walk around gorilla mascots before the start of the Annual Mountain Gorilla Naming Ceremony.
3.) The Kigali Convention Centre