As part of his working visit to Addis Ababa the Ethiopian capital and the capital of Africa, the African Tourism Board Chairman, Mr. Cuthbert Ncube has paid some official visits to prominent corporate organisations and individuals to discuss various areas of collaborations in order to move ATB and the African tourism to the zenith.
One of such entities was the headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines, the most prominent airline in Africa that takes Africa to the world and the world to Africa, in company of his Ambassadors, Hiwotie Anberbir and Kazeem Balogun.
Welcoming the ATB team to her office, Mrs. Mahlet Kebede, Head ET – Holidays expressed her great satisfaction to receive ATB team by explaining the pivotal steps Ethiopian Airlines has been taking to promote tourism within the continent especially in the face of Covid-19 pandemic which has prompted the organisation to take a closer look into African domestic tourism market by offering different domestic packages to their flyers within and also maintaining their global presence in terms of flights but with so much emphasis on promoting African destinations to the locals and continental citizens.
“I’m glad you are here. At Ethiopian Airlines, we have been supporting tourism, I played two roles, one in tourism and second on flights. Atimes I feel dissapointed that the huge potential in Africa tourism has not been fully utilised and this is why we are focusing on Africa’s domestic tourism, that’s our target in this office.
Part of what we can do is to influence the decisions of policy makers to make tourism in Africa a vibrant one and also collaboration is very important. At Ethiopian Airlines we want to collaborate because you cannot think of tourism in Africa without thinking about Ethiopian Airlines.
Our traget is to support tourism development in Africa and we have started working in that direction to increase the number of inflow both from inbounds and outbounds points with all our 120 offices across the world, we can get the message across.
We are putting together packages to Mombasa, Seychelles, Namibia and some other places. We will continue to push this further in a critical terms, so again, I’m glad you are here”, Kebede said.
In his own reaction, Mr. Cuthbert Ncube also displayed a high sense of appreciation at the welcoming by giving a background information about ATB and the paramount roles the most prominent tourism organization in Africa has been playing in promoting African tourism, delving into the part that it played recently in Tanzania at the East African Regional Tourism Expo 2021 in Arusha where the organization facilitated the participation of many ministers of tourism in Africa and also awarding them with a Continental Tourism Awards 2021 for their pro-activeness in tourism development within Africa which aimed at cementing greater relationship among the stakeholders within the continent.
“African Tourism Board has an entity has a vision to reposition and rebrand Africa with a coordinated approach which means that we must achieve this with our strategic partners like Ethiopian Airlines which is a pride of Africa and together we can achieve the dream of our founding fathers of unifying Africa using tourism as a driving tool.
Having played a critical role in the recently held East African Regional Tourism Expo 2021 in Arusha Tanzanian, ATB is poised to ensure tourism recovers and by 2022, we hope to incorporate your organization in our events calendar in the areas of various tourism activations within the continent.
With this partnership, ATB and ET will be strategically positioned to deliver a robust travel and tourism sector especially post Covid-19 era which has afforded us to go back to the drawing board on how to incorporate best practices into the scheme of things”, Ncube said.
After so much deliberations that nose dived into so many areas of mutual interest, it was agreed that a Memorandum of Understanding should be signed between the two organizations in order to officially kick – start the strategic partnership.