The Africa Travel Association (ATA), in partnership with co-host, New York University-Africa House, organized the 9th Annual Presidential Forum on Tourism, a high-level forum which attracted over 200 participants, including representatives from the travel and tourism industry, the diplomatic corps, media, and members of the academic community. Ali Velshi, Host of “Real Money with Ali Velshi” at Al Jazeera America once again moderated the forum.
There was a lively discussion of African tourism trends and developments during the Open Forum on Africa Tourism with the Hon. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Republic of Zimbabwe and President of the Africa Travel Association; the Hon. Edem Duke, Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Republic of Nigeria; the Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities, Republic of Uganda; the Hon. Lazaro S. Nyalandu, MP, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, the United Republic of Tanzania; and Hon. Elizabeth Ofusu-Adjare, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts, Republic of Ghana. The forum was moderated by Dr. Yaw Nyarko, Professor of Economics and Director of the Africa House at New York University.
Brussels Airlines, ATA sponsor and the official airline for the 2014 ATA World Congress held in Uganda, re-emphasized its partnership with Africa in a presentation given by Olivier Prevot, the Director for North America. Brussels Airlines continues to fly to Ebola effected areas even as “many airlines have decided to pull out” to ensure the “bridge between these countries and the rest of the world,” Prevot said. Additionally, Brussels Airlines premiered their new Africa strategy video at the forum.
The day-long program also included a spotlight on Tanzania with a presentation of the 2014 Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) awards. The awards honor outstanding travel companies who have promoted tourism to Tanzania from the U.S. market, one of the largest single source markets for the East African country. This year’s awards were sponsored by the Tanzania National Parks and the Tanzania Tourist Board. The 2014 TTB awards were presented to three industry leaders by Hon. Lazaro S. Nyalandu, MP, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism from the Republic of Tanzania, who was joined by H.E. Liberata Mulamula, Tanzania Ambassador to the USA, and Mr. Allan Kijazi, Director General of the Tanzania National Parks. Executive Producer Ray Parisi and Producer Jessica Joseph received the TTB Broadcast Award for CNBC’s “Secret Lives of the Super Rich.” The TTB Airline Award was received by Alp Ozaman, Regional Marketing Manager for Turkish Airlines. The TTB Tour Operator Promotion Award was received by Abercrombie and Kent, represented by Sales Director Norma Spadola.
The afternoon travel trade sessions were sponsored and curated by RW Social, organized by Roni Weiss and Ethan Gelber.
The sponsors for the day’s forum were: Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Tanzania Tourist Board, Tanzania National Parks, RW Social, and the NYU Wagner Student Alliance for Africa.