Managing Direct of Kaya Tours Ghana Ltd, Abeiku Santana Aggrey, will deliver a keynote address at the third Africa Youth in Tourism & Innovation challenge summit which is scheduled to take place in Ghana’s capital of Accra from July 27-30, 2021. Set to be conducted in a hybrid format, the event is aimed at mentoring and bringing the continent’s wonderful youthful minds to interact with leaders of the tourism and technological world.
The event is organized by Africa Tourism Partners in collaboration with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) BDO and hosted by the Government of Ghana through the Ghana Tourism Authority. With the tourism sector still reeling from the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, the event has come at the right time to help address the opportunities that the pandemic presents to the tourism sector.
“I consider this as one of the greatest privileges, to be on a continental platform to speak about the Sicio-economic activity , Tourism and its contribution to Ghana’s GDP among other things,” Abeiku Santana said in a statement shared on Instagram. “This is will be a fine opportunity for me to showcase Destination Ghana and it’s unique tourism product offerings. I will also reveal Ghana’s readiness to welcome both Leisure and Bussiness tourists as a safe destination amid Covid19 and promote the country as a youth travel destination to participating African youth.”
Themed’’ empowering African youth through tourism innovation, education, and investments in a changing world’’, the summit focuses on skills development and innovation methodologies for youth in leisure and business tourism as well as MICE. It also highlights the need for an ecosystem approach among tourism stakeholders to enable entrepreneurs to grow and develop. This being the 3rd year running, the Pan-African summit gathers youth, start-ups (in leisure tourism and MICE), and professionals to harness the potential of this sector by sharing insights, knowledge, experiences, and opportunities.
The Regional Director of Africa at United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Elcia Grandcourt says the coronavirus pandemic has presented the tourism sector and the youth an opportunity to use technology and innovation to develop sustainable job models to shape society. ‘’With the adverse effects of covid-19 on the tourism sector, innovation and the use of technology offers an opportune platform for disruptive projects that are changing the way people travel and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be harnessed as models for the future. The Africa Youth in Tourism and Innovation Summit is aligned with UNWTO’s Agenda for Africa; Tourism for Inclusive Growth’’
Other speakers include Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dr. Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, UNWTO’s Regional Director for Africa Elcia Grandcourt, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority Akwasi Agyeman, Salifou Said, Judy Kepler-Gona, Natalia Bayona (UNWTO), Amadeus (Racquel), AirBnB (Velma), Amanda, Richard Perez (Hasso Plattner Foundation, UCT), Prof Kim Shapiro (Cornel University), Dianne (MasterCard Foundation), CEO (Capital Hotels), Christelle (BDO), Regina Honu, York Zucci and Ashiwn (MEST Africa).
The Innovation challenge has received entries from youth innovators from eight African countries including Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia.
Shortlisted Innovation Challenge competitors will have the opportunity to be supported and mentored to compete in the UNWTO Global Innovation Challenge. Participants in the Summit and competition will benefit in many ways such as:
• career guidance for fresh high school and university graduates interested in travel and tourism and MICE eco-system careers;
• Creating a new exclusive marketplace for African Youth and Start-Ups and SMMEs in leisure tourism, business tourism and MICE
• Gaining insights into supply-chain linkages, market access, funding, business recovery and continuity opportunities between start-ups established & big industry stakeholders across leisure and business travel as well as MICE;
• synergies amongst public sector entities (including National Tourism Organisations, Convention Bureaux and Conference Centres), start-ups, academia, corporations, investors, accelerators.
The five (5) shortlisted competitors will participate in the finals of the Youth Innovation Summit and Challenge that will take place on the margins of the annual Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) and Awards scheduled to take place in Rwanda in mid-November.
The Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit (AYTIS) & Challenge is the” one and only” pan-African Youth and start-ups in Tourism Summit on the continent. Since inception in 2018, it has served as a pan-African gathering that brings together youth, start-ups (leisure & MICE) and MICE professionals. Among key strategic and supportering partners are UNWTO, BDO, MasterCard Foundation, NEPAD, SITE Global and ICCA Africa.
It provides key stakeholders, mentors, innovators, academics and funders in tourism, travel, hospitality, aviation, academia and related industries the opportunity to connect, engage, learn, innovate and grow with African youth and start-ups in tourism on annual basis. It also serves as an exclusive gathering for innovative African youth in travel, tourism and MICE looking for partnership, market access, mentorship and funding opportunities to present their projects to the global marketplace in order to find the required support.