Thursday, November 25, 2010

ATA Proud to Partner with Gambia on Hallmark Event

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Africa Travel Association (ATA), having concluded its 35th Annual
Congress in Banjul has noted that it is proud to partner with The Gambia on what it called a ‘hallmark event.
The association, founded in 1975 is the premier travel trade organization promoting travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnership. Its membership includes governments, tourism boards, travel professionals, airlines, hoteliers, businesses, travel trade media, academic institutions, and public
relation firms, consulting companies and non-profit organizations.

It is also working towards presenting a stronger and more unified voice to advocate for investment in the tourism industry on the continent. ATA and the African Union have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in marketing African brand as a unified travel and tourism destination.

Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, the African Union Commissioner (AUC) for Infrastructure and Energy says The Gambia is one of Africa’s flag bearers in promoting the continent as an important tourist destination in its yearly business.

“The ATA World Congress has certainly chosen an excellent venue for its important business of the year and has achieved a significant milestone in its relationship with the AUC.

He noted that the MOU will enable both to work closely in order to advance Africa’s agenda in the development of its tourism resources. This cooperation is very important especially considering the fact that Africa has yet to put in place a continental body responsible for tourism matters.

He said: “Imagine the possibility that now lies ahead for us to work as an industry to market Destination Africa, there is no better place to announce this new development than in The Gambia,” the AU Commissioner said.

According to him, this year’s event offers learning and exploration opportunities on a broad range of industry topics, such as marketing and branding, niche markets and emerging trends, Africa Diaspora travel, hotel standards, responsible tourism, sustainable travel and hospitality education.

He said the Congress gives Gambian exhibitors the opportunities to showcase their products and the opportunity to support local artists, artisans and vendors. “I am confident that together we will all work toward a return on investment for the Government and people of The Gambia.

“Tourism is the only export industry that takes nothing away from the continent except photos and when it is planned and managed properly, it presents the continent with the opportunity to derive socio-economic growth, create jobs, promote growth and investment, conserve culture and foster national pride, alter
perceptions and combat stereotypes, promote peace and stability,” he said arguing that there is no other place in the world that offers as much opportunity as Africa.

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