All is not lost for tourism in Africa even with the COVID-19 pandemic that has put the continent’s tourism on a standstill.
However, interventions by different entities within the continent have shone a ray of hope in this vibrant sector which is a top forex income earner a majority of African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana among others.
Through Project Hope Africa initiated by African Tourism Board (ATB), a roadmap to navigate the sector through the crisis and post COVID-19 has been drawn to salvage the sector that accounts for between 9 and 11 percent of Africa’s GDP.
ATB’s Executive Council has established a team dubbed “Project Hope” with individuals from the public and private sectors. Some of the notable names in this sector include including ATB Executive Council members Cuthbert Ncube, Doris Woerfel, Simba Mandinyenya, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Alain St.Ange, and Juergen Steinmetz.
Others include Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala; the Minister of Tourism for Eswatini Moses Vilakati; Minister Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt, Minister of Tourism Sierra Leone and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett from Jamaica.
ATB Chair Dr Rifai, the former secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Project Hope team has held three virtual meetings with the aim of charting the continent past this.
Balala in his capacity as Kenya’s Tourism CS has since started lobbying for partnership between the private and public sector in boosting wildlife tourism in the country.