The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA) led by the President, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoah partnered with the Nigerian counterparts, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) with their President, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye to push the need for the continent to improve inter-Africa travels, trade, tourism and investment through collaboration, partnership and innovation. About 70 delegates from TOUGHA and close to 100 participants from NANTA were at the conference in South Africa.
The maiden NANTA – TOUGHA conference was hosted by the School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg from 4th to 7th May, 2023 and endorsed by South Africa Tourism under the theme, “ITS TIME FOR AFRICA”, to promote Africa as a destination for Tourism and unite the continent. The conference brought together industry players, practitioners and professionals across the African continent to market their tourism products as well as brainstorm on how to ensure seamless travels across the continent without the need for borders in Africa that hinder travel businesses to flourish.
The training sessions assembled the best of faculty members from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa on tourism enterprise and related businesses to lecture on best practices with practical experiences and examples. There were two panel discussions and a workshop involving government and private sector participation from Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. One of the major highlights of the conference was that all participants were presented with certificates by the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is worthy to note that the University of Johannesburg is ranked number one (1) in Africa and number nine (9) in the world.
TOUGHA and NANTA participated in one of Africa’s biggest Pan-African Trade and Exhibition show, “Africa’s Travel Indaba” in Durban, South Africaunder the theme, “Unlimited Africa” which speaks directly to the continent’s uncapped potential indicating that the African continent is open for the world to explore, connect and grow, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The 3 – day trade fair and exhibition show was held from 9th – 12th May, 2023 at the iconic Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA) led by its President, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoah joined more than 6,000 delegates, including 1,000 international buyers and 1,000 exhibitors showcasing 350 products, trade associations, destination marketing companies, leisure tourism services partners, and the media across the continent.
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lilledelivering her key note address at the Official opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023 said “competition is essential for destination marketing and tourism and there is also the need for collaboration, partnership and innovation across the value chain to drive growth in the sector”. She noted that harmonizing visa regimes and simplifying the application process is vital for unlocking Africa’s tourism potential.
The President of TOUGHA, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoahand members participated fully in all activities at the 2023 Africa’s Travel Indaba in the vibrant and bustling city of Durban as it kicked off with the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) session held at the iconic Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre. Some of the activities also include the plenary sessions and panel discussions, B2B, speed marketing, Women in Tourism, Global Media Face-Off with Richard Quest, etc.
The President of TOUGHA, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoahwas optimistic that the collaborative initiative with South African Tourism (SAT) and its West African Office, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and NANTA, consisting of structured engagements, aimed at invigorating the tourism sector. She opined that the partnership and collaboration will lead to the establishment of dedicated workstreams by members of TOUGHA focusing on specific markets and aspects of tourism and destination marketing. She stated that this year’s Indaba offered members of TOUGHA an opportunity to experience new things ie. New partnerships and collaborations, learn from one another, make new contacts, seal new deals and network like never before and to work together towards a more sustainable and inclusive tourism industry.
Members of TOUGHA with a common voice were also happy about the fostering of business networking and connections with Exhibitors and Buyers at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba. They took the opportunity to take some time before and after the event to visit areas of interests in South Africa including unique tourism products, restaurants, cuisines, nightlife, great weather, hospitable people, rich culture and history.
The TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoahexpressed her profound appreciation to the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Mrs. Grace Mason in facilitating the visa acquisition process for about 70 members of TOUGHA prior to the Conference in Johannesburg and and Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban, South Africa. She was also grateful to South Africa Tourism for the support and goodwill created over the years leading to TOUGHA’s participation over the years through its Regional and West African Office including Thekiso Rakolojane and Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa. Moreover, a lot of commendation to the Executives, Council and Advisory Board Members of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana. She commended and thanked Ghana’s High Commission in South Africa and Gauteng Tourism Authority and the Nigerian counterparts, NANTA for cooperation and support in diverse ways. Finally, she expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and the main implementing agency, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) as well as the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC).