Africa Tourism Board: Keeping Africa safe at the 25th International Tourism Safety Conference

Africa Tourism Board: Keeping Africa safe at the 25th International Tourism Safety Conference

The 25th International Tourism Safety Conference, organized by the International Tourism Safety Association held from the 15th April to 18th April of 2018 at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, United States. The conference covered topics such as the enhancing the brand equity of Africa beyond safety and security, Israeli model of security regulation, tourism security European perspective on crimes against tourists and how pro-actively address the impact of safety and security tourism marketing.

The conference aimed at providing delegates with new information, trends, strategies and best practices in keeping tourist safe. Attendees included, but not limited to global tourism development experts, destination marketing experts, academics, renowned tourism safety and security experts and officials from over 22 countries.

A nw partner at the event was the newsly formed African Tourism Board. Speaking passionately about destination Africa and proudly flying the the African flag high, the CEO of African Tourism Partners, founding member of the African Tourism Board, Kwakye Donkor said Africa is a multi-faceted destination with 54 unique destinations, and tourist to Africa will always be spoilt for choice. “Africa is a continent a world in one continent with unique attractions vibrant culture and experiences beyond wildlife. Even though tourism safety and security is an issue, it all depends on whether one sees the glass as half full or half empty, but to him the glass is always half full,” he explained

Donkor’s key message is, the issue of tourism safety and security in Africa is not as bad as it is in other parts of the world, simply because African countries and their security agencies know the hot spots of safety and security, and are pro-actively dealing with these. “Our major challenge, however, is brand equity and perception deficit the continent faces. Therefore, African governments, particularly, tourism agencies and their parent ministries will have to collaborate with their private sector entities to change these perceptions. If not, the momentum building and creating more power brand Africa will not just continue of its own accord.” He emphasized.

Underscoring the glass half full scenario he said Africa Tourism Partners in cooperation with the African Tourism Board and with the support of Ghana Tourism Board and its parent Ministry Ghana Africa host the Inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards on 31 August and 1 September, 2018 in Accra, Ghana as their contribution to alleviating the issue of brand equity deficit that Destination Africa faces. This effort has been recognized one of the leading African tourism media Voyages Afriq, which has just joined the Forum’s media partnership.  We hope this will put more spotlight on Africa’s tourism attractiveness, good stories, investment opportunities and enhance positive perceptions rather than focusing on its safety, securities and other socio-economic challenges only.” he said


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“The safety and security of visitors and residents is a top priority for any destination’s tourism industry, so it’s imperative to be aware of the current trends and information,” said Ray Suppe, president of the International Tourism Safety Association and executive director of customer safety for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA.) “For more than two decades, Las Vegas has proudly hosted this important conference where tourism security officials can come together to learn, grown and develop professionally.”

Other Conference presentations included the views from India, Europe and Americas on tourism and terrorism, making safety and security a requirement in tourism, destination marketing and hospitality training, art crime and museums and preventative measures.

The African Tourism Board in cooperation with the International Tourism Safety Association is planning several workshops and conferences in Africa later this year. The first venue will be announced soon in Sierra Leone.

For more information on how to join ATB visit www.africantourismboard.com

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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