STAKEHOLDERS in the Aviation and Tourism industries in Africa have advanced way to correct the ills in the industries and propel practical advancement in the money spinning industries, in the region.
The stakeholders, during their discussions at the second day of the Akwaaba African Travel Market, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria described Africa Tourism and Travel as a business hub to be exploit by both the government and private entity, though the industries were experiencing some hiccups in the Africa at present.
Former MD/CEO of Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun, in his presentation, titled, “The State of Aviation Sector in Africa,” described the Aviation industry in as indispensable part of human lives and business.
Aisuebeogun said, “The aviation industry has become an indispensable part of our lives and businesses. We fly on commercial airlines for personal, leisure or relaxation, and business purposes, among others, without consciously thinking of the role Air Transport and Airlines play in these seamless trips.”
The former FAAN boss, who gave data showing how poorly African is doing in African aviation business, disclosed that “A Report of survey carried out in May, 2016 says over the past 12 years, nearly 37 airlines were launched in Africa, and almost all of them had failed – 25 of which were from Nigeria”.
He grouped the factors negatively affecting the industry into into Internal and External.
According to him, the internal factor included management business plan, safety regulation, economic regulation, low cost airlines, multi-hub strategy, and service excellence, among others, while the external factors included the cost of operating environment, economic diversification, political environment, improved airport infrastructure, airports supports, improved air navigation infrastructure, and unfair competition, just to mention a few.
The Deputy Minister, Zimbabwe Tourism & Hospitality Industry, Annastacia Ndlouv, in her presentation on the importance of Tourism in Africa, assured that if all things are put in place, “Tourism will generate more than what we have in other part of the world put together.”
In his presentation, the founder and MD of e-Tourism Frontiers, a major global initiative to develop online tourism in the emerging market, Damian Cook, described e-Tourism as one of the greatest drives of the tourism industry.
Cook assured that with the emerging technology in the world e-Tourism will go a long way in assisting tourism business in Africa.
Ndlouv’s stand was corroborated by the panel of discussant, who noted that Africa put together, is bigger than the whole of Europe, Asia, China, America and some others (in term of land mass) that Africans are rushing to see outside Africa.
The discussants agreed that African countries have enough land and Tourist attractions “to make people come visit Africa.”
They concluded with the recommendations that “if we can solve the bureaucracy problem of visa One Visa Africa, signing of open skies agreement, open boarders and AU promotion of “African brand” and the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration to facilitate movement, Sustainable biodiversity, cultural and heritage management. Brand Africa (Media coverage of African issues can make or break the Brand-African Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Tourism policy accommodation and institutionalization at the AU.”