The Chairman African Tourism Board, Curthbert Ncube has implored Africans to be in control of the economy of the continent especially in the tourism sector in order to reposition the entire continental financial viability and also open borders for businesses to flow across seamlessly .
He dropped these charges at the House of D’Licacy brand launch, during the Leadership Roundtable at Radisson Blu, Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa, while delivering his own speech today which centred around the theme “Unlocking Trade Opportunities Within African Member States”
In his words,”If there was a time for us to reshape and take charge and control our tourism economics in Africa it is now. Rebranding our industry to the benefit of a sustainable growth factors in the leisure industry with the total inclusion of the continental’s full participation. Tourism is inextricably linked to people’s lives and happiness. For leisure industry to thrive it must centre around the lives of the very people that are expected to travel within our Region, within our Continent”.
”Colleagues, may I decry and you will agree with me that hospitality products in Africa are similarly western- oriented. This is not only true of the Continental’s product marketing, branding, packaging and pricing, this goes to air connectivity that has been designed for the East and Western market segment, the hotel accommodations that have been priced beyond the reach of so many local, regional and Continental populace”.
”Online bookings representing one of the largest market share in the sector. May I shock you this morning by sharing, if you make your booking flight or accommodation on line the system always directs you to Safari.com, Travel start, eDreams,Kiwi.com, my Trip.com, the list goes on and on, all these are international based booking sites. This is big Business with an estimated $817 Billion worth of online bookings, considering that the tourism industry is worth approximately $1.2 Trillion”.
”This will mean that certain socioeconomic cushions need to be put in place to accommodate every segment of our communities. The quest for a more inclusive engagement towards our society has to be implemented and appreciated and supported by all stakeholders within the travel sector value chain”.
Ncube also expressed his unreserved delight at the initiative being brought to reality with the launch of a new alcoholic wine from the stable of D’Licacy under the distinguished chairmanship of indefatigable Ms. Dimakatso, seeing it from the perspective of investment which the continent urgently needed. He was of the view that wine tourism and the related segments must be looked into and find the best possible ways to ensure that Africans take possession and create the needed wealth for the benefit of the continent.
”The launch of the D’Licacy Non- Alcoholic Wine Tourism especially spear- headed by young vibrant women, this investment model cements the accessibility for a better quality health for all”. This appreciation will gain so much by resegmenting the market to include previously ignored leisure categories such as non-alcoholic wines, this segment of value added entity that joins all sectors of our groupings including Religious Tourism, Educational Tourism and Family Tourism where Families get together, where there is no segregation as in case of pure wine Tourism. Africa needs to participate in taping in these entities so that the revenue and profit generated remains within the Continent”.
ATB Chairman however concluded by tasking African countries to start creating the needed enabling environment by opening up their borders for businesses within the tourism sector to flow freely across borders so as to benefit the entire continental Africa. He also enjoined countries to patronise the new non-alcoholic wine by being dealers in order to support and create business for more revenue generation within Africa.
”Let’s see a robust approach to intra Africa trade, by letting these products find their way to East Africa, West Africa, North Africa and flood the Central Africa’s supermarkets shelves and this has been made easy with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) agreement enabling member States to open their boarders and start trading amongst ourselves. With this we will see a more cohesive and well coordinated approach that will fast track our economic inclusion”.