Namibia will host the United Nations World Tourism Regional Conference, aimed at branding and enhancing the image of Africa as a tourist destination, in June this year.
The conference will be held under the theme ‘Strengthening Brand Africa for the Swift Recovery of the Tourism Sector’ from 14 until 16 June 2021.
Speaking at the announcement event here on Thursday, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said the conference will focus on national and regional branding to enhance the image of Africa as a tourist destination, as well as strengthen the digital marketing skills of micro, small and medium tourism enterprises, particularly in Namibia.
“All too often we see the image of Africa portrayed in a negative light in the media. We are painted as the continent that is home to wars, poverty and forced emigration. This conference will play an important part in positioning Africa as a tourism destination of choice based on its rich cultures, spectacular scenery, wildlife as well as other attractions,” said Shifeta.
He equally said it will reposition and assist the continent as the tourism sector reopens and recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shifeta also indicated that as the sector continues to recover, skills in digital marketing will be of critical importance, noting that with the advent of the internet and social media, it is important to market on digital platforms.
“The conference will also help to equip our tourism SMEs with the skills needed to capitalize on digital trends and to position them to be at the forefront of our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he noted.
At the same event UN Regional Director for Africa at the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), Elcia Grandcourt, said the agency will give Namibia technical assistance in preparation for the conference and help source funds from key world key industries.
Approximately 150 people will participate in the conference, mainly representatives from national tourism, destination management organisations, officials from ministries responsible for tourism from African countries as well as representatives of micro, small and medium enterprises.
The conference will be held as a hybrid event with both physical and virtual participation.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA)