Next month, Namibia will host the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa for the Swift Recovery of the Tourism Sector.Taking place over three days from 14 to 16 June 2021, the Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa for the Swift Recovery of the Tourism Sector will be held in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, where 100-150 people are expected to attend. In a statement made last week by Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Tourism and Forestry, Pohamba Shifeta, he noted that in addition to Ministers of Tourism and officials from national tourism bodies, attendance will also be comprised of destination management companies and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“The closure of borders and cross border restrictions on travel over the past year or so has had a terrible impact on direct and indirect beneficiaries of the tourism sector…”Recognising the devastating effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on industries such as tourism, Shifeta highlighted that while some of Namibia’s top attractions such as Sossusvlei and Etosha National Park have experienced a 90% drop in visitors, the impact has been far more widespread. “It is well-known that the tourism sector has been one of the most (sic) hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic at the national and regional level. The closure of borders and cross border restrictions on travel over the past year or so has had a terrible impact on direct and indirect beneficiaries of the tourism sector such as hotels, communal conservancies, travel agents, airlines, vehicle rental companies, tour operators, hunting operators as well as restaurants and entertainment facilities targeting tourists,” he said. The UNWTO Regional Conference will be centred on building Africa’s image as a tourist destination, both regionally and internationally, and explore how to enhance digital marketing for MSMEs. Tourism forms a key focus for achieving the United Nations in its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and as part of the global post-pandemic recovery, it is a priority sector.
The UNWTO Regional Conference sessions taking place are as follows:
- Masterclass on Digital Marketing for African NTOs (by invitation only)
- Workshop on the Importance of Strategizing and Branding for MSMEs in Africa: Trends, Opportunities and Future Prospects (by invitation only)
- CEOs Think Tank – Closed Forum with the CEOs of Tourism Boards of Africa (by invitation only)
- High-level Discussion Panel 1: Brand Africa: What and How – Challenges and Opportunities
- High-level Discussion Panel 2: Strengthening Brand Africa
Applications for registration can be made through UNWTO’s online portal.