The Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) is gearing up for its highly anticipated 6th edition, set to take place in Gaborone, Botswana, from October 4th to 6th, 2023. In an interview for the VA Tourism Podcast, Miller Matola, the CEO of Millvest Investments and one of the conveners of the forum, expressed his excitement about the upcoming event and their collaboration with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
As preparations for the 6th ATLF progress, Matola highlighted the significance of the partnership with AfCFTA, emphasising its role in promoting discussions about intra-African travel, tourism, and the contribution of cultural industries to not only tourism but also the trades sector. He stated, “What’s interesting for us is the partnership with Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on the Forum on Tourism Creatives and Cultural Industries. We think it’s a huge milestone as far as the ATLF is concerned.”
The ATLF has solidified its position as a premier pan-African thought leadership platform, bringing together key industry stakeholders to deliberate and formulate actionable solutions for the advancement of tourism. Matola noted the forum’s unique role, stating, “We don’t have anywhere else on the continent, a platform that seeks to achieve this and has been able to do so.”
Recalling the 5th ATLF, which took place in Gaborone last year, Matola highlighted the broad support the forum received, including backing from governmental figures, policymakers, business leaders, and educational institutions with a focus on the tourism sector. Notably, the President of the Republic of Botswana provided his full support, marking a significant endorsement of ATLF’s mission.
Looking ahead, Matola envisions even greater support from public sector leaders and policymakers, further strengthening ATLF’s role in shaping the future of tourism in Africa. He added, “We see in the future years ATLF building on that and garnering more and more support from leaders in the public sector, leaders in policymaking, supporting the ATLF and what its vision is and what it seeks to achieve for tourism on this continent.”
The forum’s networking sessions and events are tailored to facilitate actionable solutions, with an emphasis on topics such as intra-African travel, the impact of cultural industries on tourism and trade, and the role of technology and innovation in the industry’s development.
The 6th edition of the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum promises to place culture and heritage at the forefront, recognising their vital role in the continent’s tourism sector. Matola concluded, “With the 6th edition, we are really looking to put to the centre stage tourism and the assets it uses, which is culture and heritage, bring those to the centre, and say, through these economies we can create a better Africa. But we will also look at, as always, bringing in the issues of technology, innovation as part of the deliberations.”