Delegates from around the globe attended the Africa Travel Association’s (ATA) sixth annual U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar (USATS). The USATS was held on Friday, March 8 in Washington, DC and promoted the theme “Marketing Destination Africa 2020” which highlighted new marketing strategies, tools and emerging trends with presentations from top industry experts. It also emphasized the continent’s impressive economic growth and prospects for US-Africa business exchange and development.
The sixth annual US-Africa Seminar featured speakers and representatives from a who’s who in the U.S. and African travel categories. Wrapping up the day, both Lisa Simon, President of the National Tour Association (NTA) and Ron Erdmann, Deputy Director of the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries for the International Trade Administration at the US Department of Commerce, said the outlook for travel to Africa from the U.S. was bright. Erdmann pointed out that South Atlantic states provide the highest percentage of travelers to the continent. He also said that along with niche travel markets, Africa should focus on these areas of tourist origin when packaging products with group needs in mind. U.S. travelers to Africa has increased every year, up 150 percent from 2003.
The ATA and NTA renewed their commitment to increasing travel to Africa in a signing ceremony at the conclusion of the seminar. Lisa Simon, NTA President, and Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director, signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines a number of ways that the two associations will interact and work together.
Africa Travel Association, www.africatravelasssociation.org