The Conference is themed “This is Africa

Africa Tourism Association (ATA) Set To Host World Tourism Conference in South Africa 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 recognise the countries and businesses leading the way insustainabletourism.  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 honoured 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 24th, 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. 

The Africa Tourism Association (ATA) will host the 42nd World Tourism Conference (WTC) 22-26 July 2019 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference will highlight the emerging business and investment opportunities across Africa’s tourism sector. The conference will show how tourism can be utilized as an engine for economic growth and job creation through disruptive business models and strategies, leveraging creative industries and culture, emerging technologies, capacity building, and building strategic partnerships. The conference will also provide a platform to connect, network and explore new tourism markets and products

ABOUT US - Recently rebranded as the Africa Tourism Association, ATA is the leading global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnerships. Established in 1975, ATA serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry. ATA membership is comprised of African governments, their tourism ministers, tourism bureaus and boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, front-line travel sellers and providers, tour operators and travel agents, and affiliate industries. ATA partners with the African Union Commission (AU) to promote the sustainable development of tourism to and across Africa. ATA’s annual events in Africa and the United States bring together industry leaders to shape Africa’s tourism agenda.

Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council confirms South Africa meeting . The next regional meeting of the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council is to be hosted by the Africa Travel Association at its World Congress in South Africa in July.   The event will take place during the annual conference in Johannesburg on July 24. It will include a series of panels that highlight the challenges faced by and opportunities posed for the travel and tourism industry regarding politics and government, security, risk management and media perspectives The Resilience Council was formed through a partnership between Travel Weekly UK parent Jacobs Media Group and the Pan Asian Travel Association (PATA).

ATA chief executive Naledi Khabo said: “When most people think about Africa through a western lens it’s primarily negative with a focus on crisis or war and not about it being a beautiful destination with amazing cultures and heritage. In Europe you can have a crisis in Paris but it’s not going to have the same sort of impact.

“We cannot rely on the media to correct the impression that’s given. We need to be more aggressive, more proactive in getting positive stories out, not just reacting to the narrative being put out there.

“South Africa is advanced in terms of infrastructure and having very strategic outreach programmes for marketing. They can be a model for other countries and can speak about how they have overcome their challenges.

“A lot of countries have to learn on the fly and in the midst of a crisis instead of having a resource they can go to. That’s why it’s important to have these regional meetings and centres of resilience. There is nothing else like that right now.”

ATA is looking to broaden its influence beyond Africa and the US to Europe, the Middle East and Asia with regional meetings and activities targeting travel agents and operators on areas such as digital marketing.

Khabo added: “ATA is changing focus to be more of a global organisation. We want to be truly global and this is one of the reasons we are partnering with Jacobs Media Group on the Resilience Council. We are partnering with people already in these markets doing things we should be involved with.

“As we evolve and understand better how people make their travel decisions, I think we will see a shift in culture. That’s where the opportunity lies, in those more emotional touchpoints. We have to increase the awareness to increase the appreciation.”

The Resilience Council event is sponsored by Africa Travel Association, Kenyon International, Mastercard and TripAdvisor.

MorePurchase tickets for the Resilience Council’s travel and tourism regional meeting at ATA’s World Tourism Conference, or get more information on the event’s program.

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2019 DATES

To increase tourism to Africa and to showcase “Destination Africa,” ATA partners with travel expos worldwide. ATA members are invited to display promotional materials at the ATA booth. 



Boston, MA. February 9 -10, 2019
. Hynes Convention Center
Los Angeles, CA. February 16-17, 2019
Denver, CO. February 23-24, 2019
Philadelphia, PA. March 9-10, 2019
Washington, D.C. March 16-7, 2019
SF / Bay Area, CA. March 23-24, 2019
Dallas, TX. March 30-31, 2019
San Diego, CA. January 18-19, 2020 
Chicago, IL. February 8-9, 2020

Outdoor Adventure Show  2029 CANADA
Toronto, On, February 22-24, 2019
Vancouver, BC,  March 2-3, 2019
Calgary, AB, March 23-24, 2019
Montreal, QC, March 16-17, 2019

6 - 10 March 2019

Durban May 7-9,2019

Capetown April 10-12,2019