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African Tourism Board President: African tourism is one

African Tourism Board President: African tourism is one

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African Tourism Board President: African tourism is one

Looking to bring Africa together in the tourism industry,
the African Tourism Board (ATB)
is now working closely to encourage joint marketing strategies that would
attract tourists within and outside the continent to the rich unbeatable
attractions available in each state for Africa’s good.

African Tourism Board President Mr. Alain St.Ange said that Africa cannot continue to let the world ride on its back as the world is writing what they want and often looking at all the mishaps, all the mistakes, and for everything else that is not good about Africa.

The ATB President said in a special interview with the
Uganda’s Daily Monitor this week that intra-Africa tourism will make the
continent’s 54 states benefit more from tourism through a ready tourism market.

“African states have different challenges; the bad news of one of the 54 states spreads faster than any good news, and any bad news in one country affects the 54 states, for instance Ebola, so Africa must work together to rewrite its own narrative,” the African Tourism Board President said.

“Now, let us find a way of doing intra-Africa tourism;
this will make us self-reliant. We are 54 states with millions of people; that
is a ready market,” he told the Daily Monitor, published by Nation Media Group.

St.Ange said that tourism marketing in Africa has taken a leap today, in which technology has taken over fully e-marketing and e-booking.

Focusing on Uganda and tourism in East Africa, St.Ange said that regional states which make the East African Community (EAC) should work then market their tourism as a single East Africa bloc.

“When countries work as an East Africa bloc, they all benefit.
But if they go separate ways, they are not working for Africa. Here, we have
Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda competing, yet truly they should be working for East
Africa’s good,” he said.

He told the Ugandan Daily that when regional states work
as an East African bloc, they all benefit.

“The East African Community has made big strides in
selling itself. EAC has key assets that go beyond the borders, so this should
even make marketing easy,” he said.

“From that, we have seen things like EAC visa and other
initiatives in a way that will help East Africa sell to the world as a bloc.
EAC can use key personalities who have a following in the region so that
marketing is [again] made easy,” he added.

Speaking about Ugandan tourism and the roles of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the African Tourism Board President said that Uganda has unique selling points; it has the political will, something rarely seen in many countries.

“No one is a prophet in their own country. The first
thing should be making people appreciate the fauna and flora in the country. As
a citizen, you must see that people come from all over the world to see the
good fauna and flora,” he said.

“Domestic tourism should be encouraged, because people
should spend the Ugandan currency here first. Therefore, understanding the
country will help to promote tourism; it is the role of the industry players to
change the people’s mind,” he observed.

“[The] Uganda Tourism Board will never be self-sustaining. The board benefits from an income from government. So UTB’s role is to bring the people, and the percentage of the income from tourism should be given back to the board to continue the work; as long as it brings the tourists, it should be self-sustaining,” St.Ange noted.

“We still have the visa issue. Uganda had made some
progress on e-visa, also African airlines can work together to offer the best
flights and reduce on the waiting time,” he said.

Increasing Uganda’s visibility, he advised the tourism
players and policymakers to compile unique selling points including the equator,
source of the Nile, Lake Victoria, and the legacy of former President Idi Amin,
as well as tourist-pulling magnets of domestic, regional, and international

About Seychelles tourism, St.Ange said that the islands’ tourism ministry has political support from government, because tourism is life for the people of Seychelles.

“We protected what we have and developed an industry that
suits the smallness of Seychelles. I was a director of tourism and minister of tourism,”
he added.

“We brought all the citizens on board and made them aware that tourism is our bloodline; that is what Uganda should do and all locals should be involved, not only big investors but small ones also,” said St.Ange.

Giving a positive example, he said that in Seychelles, they
said a small hotel of 24 rooms which should be left for local tourists. That
encouraged local investors to make some money. “And that is what Uganda should
do, make Ugandans part and parcel of the industry,” he said.

“Make Uganda visible to the world. Uganda needs to
increase her visibility by telling the world Uganda exists; in Uganda, good
news is not news. You need to rewrite your narrative and tell the world how
good Uganda is and that there are investment opportunities,” the ATB President

“At the African Tourism Board, we believe that if East
Africa is working together, we can improve from the current 6 percent of
intra-Africa travels, and this will benefit Africa more. Africa has a big
market of over 1.2 billion people which we must exploit to our advantage by
increasing intra-trade and intra-travel among us,” he said.

“We need the African Union to show the political will, and it is this that tourism will be able to thrive on the continent. But if they go separate ways, they are not working for Africa. So, the African Tourism Board was formed to bring Africa together,” St.Ange told the Daily Monitor.

The ATB President was in Uganda where he had participated
then addressed a gathering at the 5th Annual “Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo
(POATE) 2020” this month and which had attracted more than 200 tourism business
leaders from over 20 countries in 4 continents.

Mr. Alain St.Ange is the Seychelles former Tourism Minister, rich with African tourism experience.

The African Tourism Board is an association that is
internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible
development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the African region. For
more information and how to join, visit .

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Source: eTurboNews Syndication