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President calls for more visits to Africa
Africa is not just a mother continent, it is the prime tourist destination. Majestic mountains, smiling hills, white and beautiful beaches, world-class national parks with rare and endangered species and 135 world heritage sites. This is how South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa described Africa as he opened the morning ceremony at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019. 

Tourism is a sector that is thriving and has the potential for tremendous growth. Not only is it associated with pleasure, but it also involves business, education, health and religion. 

“Africa stands at the lead in terms of sustainable and eco-tourism. Growing Small Medium and Micro Enterprises(SMME’s) and ensuring that economic growth is experienced in rural and remote areas,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President described tourism as a window that should be used to introduce the world to our countries and said tourism serves as a great source of job creation.

To ensure sustainable success in the tourism industry, the president promised to address the following challenges:

1. Reducing unnecessary bureaucracy red-tape which makes it difficult for tourists to visit African countries.
2. To counter the perception that Africa is an unsafe tourist destination.
3. Vigorously promoting domestic tourism.
4. Forge public strategic partnerships.
5. Combining national efforts and intergovernmental partnerships.
6. Developing and upgrading infrastructure.
7. Consciously empowering youth and women.
8. Build and brand Africa as an outstanding tourist destination.
9. Embrace technology.
10. Be open to international branch marks.

“These ten challenges will be addressed going forward to ensure that Africa explodes exponentially. You need to be ready and brave for this new developing world.” 

“We are saying to the world, Come To Africa!” he added. The President’s visit left attendees and exhibitors in high spirit as they enjoyed the last day of the annual Africa Travel Indaba. Here is what they had to say: 

Gbenga Akintade
Nigeria
International Delegate

“I had a very good experience at this year’s Indaba. There was more innovation, more activities and vigorous performances. Having everyone together in unison made me feel proud to be an African. I would like it if there would be more diversity in performing arts so that people can also be educated about other African countries.”

Zola Khondowe
Zambia
Exhibitor

“It has been okay, but my concern lies with attendance. It seems to have reduced over the years. I just hope that the organisers plan out a new strategy that can get crowds interested in attending in the future.”

Davide Simeone
Italy
Hosted Buyer

“I found this experience very interesting. I stumbled upon lots of business opportunities. This is my 15th visit to South Africa and I enjoy the diverse cultures and activities.”

The President is proud that South Africa is hosting this Indaba and will be the official host for the next 5 years. This experience has enabled the natives to open up their hearts and homes and it is a testimony that Africa is a continent that is open and welcoming.

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