New York, NY — As part of its effort to build the premier Africa tourism seminar in the United States, the Africa Travel Association (ATA) announced today that it will host the second edition of its newest program, the US-Africa Seminar, in Washington, DC from February 19-20, 2009. This year’s seminar will highlight sport and adventure tourism, Africa’s fastest-growing travel and tourism sectors, as opportunities for growth and investment. The seminar will also highlight the role of the African Diaspora in the development of Africa’s tourism industry.
“With 53 countries on the continent, Africa’s travel and tourism sector opportunities are boundless,” said ATA executive director Edward Bergman. “It is our mission to make these opportunities known to the US travel industry trade community, as well as to tourists looking for unique travel opportunities.”
Co-sponsored by Adventures in Travel Expo (ATE), the seminar will bring leaders in the tourism industry together to explore the continent’s emerging sport and adventure tourism opportunities and Diaspora tourism. The event will be a two-day kickoff to the ATE travel show to be held from February 21-22, 2009 at the Washington Convention Center.
“Our support demonstrates ATE’s commitment to not only developing tourism in Africa, but also to promoting experiential travel with heavy emphasis on outdoor sports and activities,” said Jim Forberg, COO Unicomm LLC. “ATE events were designed to educate the consumer on the opportunity of having a more enriched and engaging vacation through experiences and Africa is a continent known to provide this.”
Seminar participants will have an opportunity to join the ATE African Pavilion and will receive concessions for participating in the event.
The seminar builds on the momentum created at the first US-Africa Seminar, which focused on sport tourism in February 2008, when mega sporting events, such as the African Cup of Nations, FIFA 2010 World Cup, as well as team and individual sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, athletics, golf, diving, biking, canoeing, trekking and boating, were presented as opportunities for growth and investment.
In addition to sport and adventure tourism, the 2009 seminar will focus on the potential role of the African Diaspora in promoting tourism to and investment in Africa.
“There is growing evidence that African immigrant communities contribute to the development of their home countries through investment, entrepreneurism, public relations and knowledge exchange,” said Ogo Sow, ATA board member and advisor on Africa Diaspora Affairs. The seminar will present a number of case studies on African Diaspora investment in the industry and include a roundtable discussion on the role of the Diaspora media in travel promotion.
Participants in the 2008 seminar included ministers from Angola, Ghana, Togo and South Africa, senior representatives of the diplomatic community, hotel and airline executives, travel industry experts, tourism board heads, tour operators, travel agents and representatives from sports organizations, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the African Baseball Network. WNBA Legend Teresa Weatherspoon and WNBA Washington Mystics Mactabene Amachree made special appearances. The South African consulate general hosted a reception on the 2010 World Cup with special guest, Hon. deputy minister, Department of Sport and Recreation of South Africa.
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact ATA.
About The Africa Travel Association (ATA)
The Africa Travel Association, a US-based non-profit 501(c)(6), is the world’s premier travel association promoting tourism to Africa and intra-Africa travel and partnership since 1975. ATA members include ministries of tourism and culture, national tourism boards, airlines, hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, travel trade media, public relations firms, NGOs and SME’s. For more information on ATA, visit ATA online at www.africatravelassociaton.org