The 3rd Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) 2020 was held successfully a couple of weeks ago in Kigali, Rwanda. This major African tourism event was held during the COVID 19 period. It ran in a hybrid format, and assembled over 150 physical delegates, 500 virtual delegates and 70 renowned speakers from over 40 countries including the UNWTO Secretary General, Ministers, CEOs, Captains of industry, Policy-makers and Global industry experts.
The forum was held under the theme “Shaping a better future for Intra Africa travel together through a shared vision”. Topics discussed at the conference included the opportunities that the Corona Virus Pandemic presents. The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi was guest of honour and officially opened the Forum. She praised the organizers of ATLF for the bold initiative to start events and conferences in a safe and responsible way.
‘’This is the time for us to devise new initiatives to rebuild market confidence that might have been eroded because of the effects of covid-19. Tourism has been and will continue to be a powerful vehicle for economic growth all over the world.’’ She said. ‘Here in Rwanda, tourism has been the number one foreign exchange earner and has grown steadily in the last ten years at an average of 10% in 2019, before COVID-19 we recorded 17%.’’
Delivering his speech at the Forum through a video message, the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili said that this COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of leadership and the way forward. “Both at government and private sector level we need to make difficult decisions and lead by example to restore confidence in travel and restart tourism in a safe and responsible way”, he stressed. The UN Tourism Boss underscored the need for high level cooperation to help restart tourism and recover from the impact of tourism and emphasized that ATLF 2020 is a good example of leadership in this regard.
The CEO of Africa Tourism Partners, Kwakye Donkor said “We are proud to be hosting an all-inclusive and the first biggest hybrid tourism event in Africa in this changed-world. We therefore express our appreciation to the Government of Rwanda, Mastercard Foundation and partners, our strategic partners, renowned speakers and delegates from across the globe for making this first hybrid forum a great success”.
In recognizing the Africa tourism Change-makers, the prestigious Africa Tourism Leadership Awards (ATLA) took place on the margins of the Forum. Nine (9) outstanding personalities and organizations won these awards.
The awards recognize and rewards individuals, businesses and institutions that are changing the Africa travel and tourism narrative through their work. 27 nominees were shortlisted for nine (9) categories out of 110 nominations. These include Leading in Progressive Policies, Outstanding Entrepreneurship, Women in Leadership, Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination and Outstanding Accommodation Facility/Group.
The rest are Outstanding Tourism Transportation, Outstanding Tourism Media and Marketing, Championing Sustainability and Destination Africa –Lifetime Award.
Full list of Winners
- Leading in Progressive Tourism Policy Award
- Winner – Rwanda Development Board
- 1st Runner-up – Kenya Tourism Board
- 2nd Runner-up – Egypt
- Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award
- Winner – Flawless Events, Ethiopia – Winner
- 1st Runner-up – Anthea Rossouw, South Africa – 1st Runner-up
- 2nd Runner-up – Siphokazi Thiam, South Africa
- Women in Tourism Leadership Award
- Winner – Anthea Rossouw, Founder of Dreamcatcher, South Africa
- 1st Runner-up – Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief, National Convention Bureau South African Tourism
- 2nd Runner-up – Stella Fubara-Obinwa, Director Africa, DTCM Dubai
- Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination Award
- Winner – Cape Town and Western Cape
- 1st Runner-up – Rwanda
- 2nd Runner-up – Kigali City
- Outstanding Accommodation Facility/Group Award
- Winner – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – South Africa
- 1st Runner-up – Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Felicite, Seychelles –
- 2nd Runner-up – Bisate Lodge, Rwanda – 2nd Runner-up
- Outstanding Tourism Transportation Award
- Winner – Ethiopian Airlines
- 1st Runner-up – Rwandair
- 2nd Runner-up – TransMagnific, Eswatini
- Outstanding Tourism Media and Marketing Award
- Winner – Voyages Afriq, Ghana
- 1st Runner-up – Umurage Wacu Group, Rwanda
- 2nd Runner-up – John Oluwatosin Akinribido, South Africa
- Championing Sustainability Award
- Winner – Anthea Rossouw, South Africa
- 1st Runner-up – Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation,
- 2nd Runner-up – Uganda Local Female Guides Uganda –
- Destination Africa –Lifetime Award
- H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – President of Ghana