EAC TOURISM EXCHANGE : Africa Needs a Complete Redesign of her Tourism Sector – Cuthbert Ncube

African Tourism dialogue received another advocacy from the East African tourism stakeholders where continental experts converged on zoom to dissect Africa’s tourism drift with the aim of actualising the recovery agenda.

One of the pundits at the East Africa Community Tourism Exchange Conference held yesterday was Hon. Cuthbert Ncube, the Executive Chairman, African Tourism Board who x-rayed the sector from the continental wholistic perspective that would assist the practitioners in their quest at returning to their businesses aftermath effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ncube started by appreciating the convergence, delving into ATB’s participation at EARTE in Arusha last year and looking at Africa’s emancipation, economics growth and sustainability. Also emphasing the need for Africa to redesign its tourism sector completely away from the handed arrangement to an Afrocentric wholesome

“It is indeed one of the most fulfilling and joyous moments, proudly noting the drive and unflinching efforts from the EAC in exchange and partnering stakeholders across board, working together for the promotion and growth of our tourism sector in Africa “.

“We attended the East Africa Regional Tourism Expo held in October 2021 in Arusha, Tanzania which was the first of its kind to be held in the region and the rest of the continent and the theme focus was hinged on promoting tourism attractions within the six block member states, to say how do we revive tourism in a collective effort, in a well coordinated regional drive, especially at a point where the tourism economy was almost obliterated by the unprecedented decline, no thanks to the pandemic”.

“We need a complete redesign of the tourism sector, which was designed and handed down to be inherited with the aim of dislodging the continent and distancing from global participation”, Ncube said.

Speaking further, the ATB Chairman commended the initiative on the single visa regime introduced by EAC as well as the EAC passport which he sees as a way to creating seamless travel within the region. Also charging Africans to start showing appreciation to one another in order to creating socio-economic sustainability.

“These efforts that has been initiated, spearheaded by the EAC for an introduction of the single tourism visa is a way to boost the tourism sector in the region and the introduction of East Africa passport as a travel document. Thus, easing accessibility and creating a convenience to the regional travelers, sharing special incentives afforded to the EAC on discounted rates to the populace and I believe Africans deserves more on our offerings”.

“If there was a time for African blocks to take charge and regroup in a continental spirit to say, how do we start appreciating ourselves as individuals, how do we start appreciating ourselves as member states, how do we start to appreciate each other within the context of inclusive approach towards africa’s emancipation on economic growth and economic sustainability”?, he inquired.

Ncube spoke on the role of ATB especially on its objectives which are hinged on” “stimulating mechanism and dismantling stereotype”, according to him. Also appreciating important roles that countries have been playing which are in accord with ATB’s progressive plans especially in the tourism, culture and heritage space with the sole aim of “marketing our destinations collectively and very wholistically”, in his words.

In conclusion, Ncube advised African tourism stakeholders to start looking into what he described as “robust policies” that would bring about self reliance within the continent thereby accelerating tourism potential development drive. He also gave an assurance his unyielding advocacy charged practitioners not to relent in their drive that would yield through domestic tourism value chain in Africa.

At the conference were, Amb. Ikechi Uko, the Convener of Akwaaba African Tourism Market from Nigeria, representing West Africa, Fifi Runwangwa CEO the Experts Ltd. from DRC representing Central Africa among others.

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