Building Bridges for Sustainable Tourism in Africa – GTA, Brighton University take the lead


Photo: CEO of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman
The tourism industry is one of the worse impacted sectors by the COVID19 and according to UNWTO (2020), it is expected that the crisis could lead to an annual decline of between 60% and 80% when compared with 2019 figures. This places millions of livelihoods at risk and threatens to roll back progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For most countries, travel restrictions had already brought tourism to a ‘ground zero’ in less than 4 months, since February 2020. Nations, global tourism agencies, academia, destination markets, tourism businesses are all working together to try and frame this crisis, analyse its impacts and forecast what the ‘new normal’ will be for tourism.

In Africa, the Ghana Tourism Authority led by it’s CEO, Mr Akwasi Agyeman and Prof. Marina Novelli – Academic Lead for the Responsible Future Research and Enterprise Agenda of the University of Brighton (UK) and expert in tourism and sustainable development joined force to establish the Building Bridges for Sustainable Tourism in Africa (BBSTA) initiative.

The Building Bridges for Sustainable Tourism in Africa (BBSTA) Advocacy Task Force has a strong belief that creative solutions are needed to address this crisis, as remaining as passive bystanders is not an option and would be detrimental to restarting tourism in Africa.

Born out of a shared commitment to proactively play a part in the recovery of tourism in Africa which has now evolved into the unprecedented collaboration of over 40 key stakeholders from Africa and beyond.

BBSTA’s purpose is to advocate for proactive action-based collaborations and initiatives which will inform policy and practice for sustainable tourism in Africa.

BBSTA’s Agenda is the result of a co-constructed process responding to two key questions: a. What now (during COVID19)? and b. What next (post-COVID19)? Four key areas of intervention BBSTA’s have been so far agreed, which are:
1. Digitization
2. Regional collaboration
3. Research & Training
4. Advocacy and PR

Send an email to Akwasi Agyeman at: and Prof. Marina Novelli at: to know more and get involved.


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