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Industry Briefs

Conference to Highlight the Opportunities the Tourism Sector Can Bring to African Economies

The World Tourism Conference is set to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 22 - 26, 2019, and will highlight the opportunities tourism can bring to African economies

In less than 15 years Africa's travel and hospitality sectors have quadrupled in size, and according to the World Tourism Organization, remains one of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia. The sector's growth presents enormous opportunities and represents 8.5% of the continent's GDP and contributes to 6.7% of total employment.

The conference, hosted by ATA in partnership with South Africa Tourism, will focus on innovative business models, best practices, creative industries, and strategic partnerships growing the tourism sector. The Conference will bring together government leaders, international investors, industry stakeholders, and travel professionals from across the globe and recognize the countries and businesses leading the way in sustainable tourism.  Programming throughout the conference has been designed to encourage discussions around tourism as a platform for resiliency, an engine for economic growth and job creation.

This year ATA has partnered with Jacobs Media Group (JMG) through the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council.  The Resilience Council, formerly the ITCMS, is deeply engaged in providing thought leadership for the travel and tourism sector in every corner of the globe.  JMG is honored to join ATA in their annual travel and tourism trade initiatives taking place this year in Johannesburg.  Aside from being a glorious travel destination, South Africa copes with challenges derived from societal issues, yet the country is always striving to find new ways to address and manage the unique concerns of both country and continent.  Taking place on the 24 th, the day will focus on recovery and resilience initiatives, the critical nature of crisis communications and planning for, during and after a crisis to ensure resiliency in the travel and tourism sector.

The decision to host this year's conference in South Africa was an easy one; South Africa's infrastructure combined with magnificent scenic beauty, cultural diversity and reputation for delivering value-for-money experiences, have made it one of the world's fastest growing tourism destinations. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) 2018 annual review of economic impact, South Africa's 1.5 million jobs and ZAR 425.8 billion contribution to the economy was the largest of any African nation. South Africa is among the top 15 long-haul business events destinations globally and is the premier business events destination in Africa.

The World Tourism Conference 2019 will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from July 22-26, 2019.