There was a call for African integration that will enable the tourism economic sector to operate in a better way whereby all stakeholders can come together as a block and start to assess the trends and impact of the setbacks and thereby develop collective recovery models that will then interpret the agenda that should form the pillars of mitigating the economy impact of the pandemic in Africa.

This formed part of the concessus at the ongoing Intra-African Trade Fair 2021, in Durban, South Africa, during the opening remarks today.

The impact of the pandemic will carry us into 2023/2025, but the good news is most continental destinations have been finding ways to adapt and have developed recovery plans to manage the reopening of the tourism business, there should be a strong recommendations for governments to agree on modalities for this to happen in order to recuperate the travel and tourism sector that is currently under tremendous pressure. There is an emergency need to work together in our different ways such as efforts to address trade and travel obstacles as we say Aftica is open for business, but still a nightmare to travel from one member state to another. Fundamental issues needs to be addressed before Africa enjoys a seamless Intra-Africa trade efforts”, submitted, Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman African Tourism Board.

ATB Chairman,Mr. Cuthbert Ncube Addressing the gathering at the ongoing Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban

Tourism sector is perhaps the sector with the most potential to grow continentally and that can be sustainably increased when there is effective coordination and deliberation across regional destinations.

This was another reflection from Ncube while engaging the audience. “Africa has sacrificed vast socio-economic benefits and growth opportunities that tourism may bring to the continent, with its narrow mindedness and securing their fragmentation approach and missing out on a number of opportunities that could have been harnessed by adopting a well coordinated strategy as we encourage adaptation of bilateral agreements to ensue that countries work on a well coordinated approach to Business events and tourism sector’s growth and expansion.

Also, the former AU Chairperson, Nkosazana Zuma emphasized a need for the continent to start appreciating the initiatives recommended and implemented by the AU in particular for Member States to start printing the AU Passport that was commissioned for rollout in each country, saying lack of will from countries was derailing the progress and implementation of printing of the passport.

IATF is also being attended by the Honourable Ministers, Captains of Industry, Politicians within Africa among other global tourism, trade and business experts.

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