TIFA 2024 targets unveiling African tourism potential through synergy of trade and Investment


As the global spotlight turns to Africa’s burgeoning tourism industry, the Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA) gears up for its highly anticipated 2024 edition in Cape Town (10-12 April). Building upon the laudable feat of last year’s event, TIFA 2024 promises to redefine the landscape of tourism investment on the continent, bringing together key stakeholders, investors and industry leaders for a dynamic exchange of ideas and opportunities.

Reflecting on the triumphs of the previous year, Miller Matola reiterated the forum’s pivotal role in showcasing Africa’s diverse tourism offerings and unlocking its vast investment potential.

Matola who is the CEO of Millvest Investments, organisers of TIFA in a conversation with Kojo Bentum-Williams on the VA Tourism Podcast said, “TIFA aims to facilitate intra-Africa investment in the Tourism sectors but also in the process to profile destinations especially lesser-known destinations, lesser-visited destinations as a location for investment and also profile them as tourism destinations. And so the reason we chose the Northern Cape was specifically to speak to those objectives of ours. The third objective is to position them as business event locations to show their capabilities to host big events, and small events, but make sure they also benefit from MICE Tourism.”

Miller Matola CEO of Millvest Investments

According to Matola, the inaugural conference held in the Northern Cape last J exemplified this ethos, drawing attention to the region’s untapped potential and attracting over 50 projects with a cumulative value exceeding USD40 billion. From mega projects in the energy sector to initiatives aimed at enhancing biodiversity and connectivity, TIFA emerged as a catalyst for transformative change across diverse sectors.

He said, “The key points from the investors’ perspective were that they were pleasantly surprised by the multitude of opportunities showcased and presented. In total, there were more than 50 projects presented, not only from the Northern Cape but also from other countries in the region such as Namibia, and Mozambique, as well as other countries across the SADC region, including Tanzania. The total value of these projects exceeded USD40 billion, with significant contributions from large-scale projects in the energy sector that were included in the TIFA presentation.”

Joint Force with WTM Africa
Similarly, TIFA 2024 ventures into new territory by synergizing with WTM Africa this year. TIFA aims to provide delegates with a holistic perspective encompassing both trade and investment facets of the tourism ecosystem.

“This year the TIFA 2024 is also unique in the sense that it will hold on the fringes of WTM Africa, which is one of the biggest Trade shows we have on the continent. The thinking around it was that the Western Cape in Cape Town was going to be the marketplace. What are we going to afford delegates, investors, and others who are going to join us at TIFA 2024? Is it the ability to have some experience in the trade side of the tourism Ecosystem? So partnering with WTM Africa means that from their perspective they are looking at the trade which is their trade with operators and businesses that run the tourism services and on our side as TIFA we are going to look at the investment leg. So, looking at trading and investment in the context of these two events it shows that we have turned over 60% engagements with the tourism ecosystem and we think the delegates will benefit from that. “Matola opined.

Scheduled for April 10th to 12th, TIFA 2024 will feature an array of illuminating discussions and interactive sessions tailored to address the most pressing challenges and opportunities in African tourism investment. Matola elaborated on the key topics that would be explored.

According to him a major topic that will be tackled at the forthcoming conference is how the policy and regulatory framework of a country impact its tourism outcome.

“We are building on the success of the previous edition in terms of first continuing to look at what we call an Action Leadership Round Table which is really about the steps and actions that African governments need to take to ensure that their counties and destinations have a more investor-friendly climate, that their regulations and policies are smart to ensure that they can attract investment,” he said.

Additionally, attention will be given to the Dynamics of Tourism Demand on the continent.

He said, “We are also going to look at the dynamics of tourism demand on the continent so we give our delegates indication to say tourism on the continent is growing whether you are looking at leisure tourism or whether you are looking at business tourism it is growing and therefore we must make necessary investments towards growing the tourism economy.”

In a world where technology has gained significant prominence and impact, Matola explained that the conference will also touch extensively on technology and innovation as well as financial strategies that can be adopted by the tourism sector.

“We will look at technology and innovation. We will also look at ways in which financing can be raised. There is a very innovative way of raising finances to fund hospitality ventures. You would know that banks are sometimes seen as risk affairs when it comes to hospitality ventures especially since COVID. So we would want to look at that from an expert who can show us the ways that hospitality ventures are being funded. Also, we seek to look at impact investment and their relationship with the capital market, for example, private equity companies, and venture companies. What are they doing and what can be done to ensure that they contribute to tourism investment, especially impact investing.”

From green investments to infrastructure and connectivity, TIFA 2024 is the opportune gathering o industry stakeholders to discuss and take bold decisions on issues that are germane to the growth and development of tourism in Africa.


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