Johannesburg, 04 April 2020 – There is no doubt that COVID-19 uncertainties have had a severe impact on the global travel and tourism industry, and we are still counting. This will, however, not last forever because global experts and our governments are working around the clock to find the best solutions for this pandemic and its impact.
The UNWTO and many other organisations in our industry, as well as destinations, have launched numerous innovative initiatives to help us all sharpen our focus on post-COVID-19 opportunities. Among these is the UNWTO’s Healing Solutions Tourism Challenge. This Challenge calls on entrepreneurs, start-ups, the youth and innovators across the globe to come up with most disruptive solutions to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19 on our people, our prosperity and our destinations.
Africa Tourism Partners takes this opportunity to urge all African travel and tourism stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity to stand up, be counted and ultimately be part of this journey.
Almost all Africa tourism institutions and destinations have launched a common, yet specific national and tailored campaigns to motivate and inspire all of us to look out for the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. “As the conveners of Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) and Africa MICE Academy, Africa Tourism Partners (ATP) is fully committed to supporting these inspiring initiatives and intentions,” says the CEO of African Tourism Partners, Kwakye Donkor. “They have already enriched the quality of life of many people during these challenging times.”
ATP and its ATLF partners further committed to supporting the global practice of social and physical distancing, and encourage all stakeholders to heed to these calls for us to stay at home during this period. #Stayathome today and #Traveltomorrow. “By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow,” says Ambassador Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General. “Because travelling tomorrow will support jobs, celebrate culture and promote international friendship and understanding,” Pololikashvili emphasises.
“The expected impact of COVID-19 would be enormous, and the details will also depend on how long the epidemic lasts. Nonetheless, staying at home allows us to be more focused on looking for the silver lining in these unchartered waters,” says Donkor. “Our focus and determination will carry us all through and help us all to bounce back strong. Therefore, let’s stay at home, postpone our events and travel tomorrow. Let us all reconnect at the next Africa Tourism Leadership Forum 2020 to sharpen our vision of intra-Africa travel together.”