THE International Tourism and Investment Summit (ITIC) has announced a strategic partnership with World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) to leverage each companies’ strengths and commitment to propel growth in travel and tourism through innovation in products, destination marketing and investment in sustainable development and infrastructure.
ITIC and WTM Africa will host the virtual Africa Tourism Investment Summit, which forms part of Africa Travel Week from the 7–9 April 2021, and a further virtual event on 24 June 2021 to assist African countries, as well as worldwide delegates and clients, in their ambition to achieve their objectives and future growth potential.
The overall theme for the conference series will be Africa: Post Covid-19 Investment Opportunities in Sustainable Tourism, covering the major aspects of the sector with an approach of ‘Think Tourism 360°’.
The conference is designed to be the first in a series of virtual summits starting on 7 April and will feature a Ministerial Roundtable with senior government speakers representing African nations in a one-hour session from 12.30pm to 1.30pm CAT. The session on 8 April will run for two-and-a-half hours, from 10.30am to 1pm CAT, featuring three topics covering re-setting business financing, travel and health in the post-Covid-19 era and new project investment opportunities.
Each session in April will be a teaser and introduction for the Second Africa Virtual Tourism Investment Summit to be held on 24 June 2021.
Opportunities for the tourism, travel industry
As part of Africa Travel Week Connect, which will be an in-person event from 1 to 3 September in Cape Town, Africa Tourism Investment Summit and ITIC will host a deal room. On 2 September, project owners, investors and financiers will have the opportunity to meet in person with selected participants to showcase their development projects and funding requirements to prospective funders.
Dr Taleb Rifai, chairman of ITIC and former Secretary-General of UNWTO, said: ‘Such an alliance between the WTM Africa and ITIC with their complimentary services will inevitably present significant opportunities for the tourism and travel industry in the continent. The series of virtual and live conferences are designed to stand out as a sought-after platform to stimulate a new thought process focusing and discussing key global tourism challenges, business and investment opportunities in the sector with a special focus on Africa and its island destinations.
‘The conferences will also help drive international awareness and investments in Africa and surrounding Island destinations as well as act as a catalyst for growth. These will attract private equity firms, institutional investors, fund managers and influencers, who have the power to channel capital and to raise funds by using key regional stock exchanges to raise and structure funds to invest in live and bankable tourism projects.
‘Our objective is to make tourism a driver to boost and develop the other industries with the eco-system in a sustainable manner – SME within different sectors to support the tourism industry – such agriculture, manufacturing, energy, technology, textile and many of sectors of the economy to create employment, wealth within the country and for the benefit of the people.’
Gerald Lawless, a board member of ITIC, WTTC Ambassador and former President and CEO of the Jumeirah group commented: ‘ITIC has become the catalyst and the platform for actually joining investors and the tourism industry together and by ensuring we understand what travel and tourism can do for small and large communities.’
Promoting inclusive growth
Ibrahim Ayoub, group CEO of ITIC and organiser of the Summit with WTM Africa, said: ‘The International Tourism & Investment Conference, working in partnership with WTM Africa, provides a unique platform uniting a broad spectrum of stakeholders of the African and global tourism industries: tourism ministers, policymakers, tourism experts, tourism project owners, funding agencies, high-net-worth investors, bankers, private equity firms, fund managers, venture capitalists, family offices and law firms in order to tackle key global tourism challenges and investment opportunities in African and Island economies.
‘We aim to bridge investments and innovation in tourism projects with a view to promoting inclusive growth and sustainable economic development for the benefit of the people.’
‘ATIS is focused on stimulating the continent’s economic growth through one of our most valuable assets,” said Megan Oberholzer, portfolio director: travel, tourism and creative industries portfolio for Reed Exhibitions South Africa.
‘With investment being an important lifeblood for Africa’s Tourism sector, providing this extraordinary range of opportunities for collaboration not only in conjunction with Africa Travel Week, but throughout the year, will shine a spotlight on the major investment opportunities available.’
A post-conference Concept Paper as a guideline to tourism investment will be made available to delegates and key tourism stakeholders.
For more information, contact the Organiser of ITIC Ibrahim Ayoub at ku.citi@miharbi.