Saturday, October 1 2022

As a key component of the African Youth Tourism Innovation Summit, the Tourism Innovation Challenge is expected to spark innovative projects and initiatives aimed at transforming the tourism ecosystem in Africa.

Organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Tourism (MEFT), in collaboration with UNWTO and BDO South Africa Tourism Partners, the African Youth Tourism Innovation Summit and Challenge will be held in Windhoek from July 27 to 29, 2022.

SABC Channel Africa has reported that the African Union has estimated that Africa has lost nearly $55 billion in tourism revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This has had a negative impact on the employability of young people.

Considering this, the African Youth Tourism Innovation Challenge aims to help young people across the continent take responsibility for reviving tourism through the practical implementation of innovative ideas and projects.

It is expected that this will result in the introduction of business opportunities for young people, small businesses, start-ups and all stakeholders for the revival of the African tourism sector.

The current entries for the Innovation Challenge and Summit registration reflect that most young people across Africa are excited to be part of this 4th edition of the African Youth Innovation Challenge and Summit in tourism.

As evidenced by the quality of entries received so far for the Youth Innovation Challenge in Tourism, it is clear that African youth have begun to think outside the box and lead innovative projects that will transform the landscape of tourism. in Africa if they are well implemented.

Mutombo Ihaama, one of DRC’s innovation contestants, said he developed an interest when he saw the competition online and quickly applied.

“Tourism is a very important factor for the development of tourism, which is why I created my tour operator agency to enhance, promote and awaken the national heritage. We, the Congolese youth, are full of innovation and projects; unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to be heard – that’s why I participated in the youth innovation challenge,” Ihaama pointed out.

Goodness Mashala, another competitor from South Africa, expressed her enthusiasm for the Youth Summit and her participation in the Challenge.

“Fear has, for many years, kidnapped many young people. I decided to overcome my fears by taking a step towards realizing my dream – the dream of simplifying access to tourism across the continent and to the world at large through innovation,” Mashala said.

The top five selected contestants will be required to present a five-minute demonstration to the judges for selection of the top three at the summit.

The winner of the Africa Tourism Innovation Challenge will receive a seed grant of $1,000, plus non-monetary mentorship and marketing support worth $5,000, while first and second runners-up will each receive $500 , plus mentorship and marketing support. and exposure to many other opportunities worth $5,000, among several benefits.

International speakers for the 2022 Youth Innovation in Tourism Africa Summit and Challenge include Elcia Grandcourt (UNWTO Director for Africa), Themba Khumalo (Acting CEO of South Africa Tourism), Hando Sinisalu (Founder of Best Marketing & Marketing Parrot, based in Estonia) Linda Pereira (General Manager of CPL Events from Portugal), Iwona Fluda (Founder of Creative Switzerland), Dan Dsouza (Head of Intrapreneurship Program at Lmarks, UK) as well as Iddy John of Safari Wallet Tanzania.

At least over 250 physical delegates and over 1000 virtual delegates are expected at the Africa Youth Tourism Innovation Summit and Challenge.

Participants include youth in tourism, entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses to reconnect, engage, learn and do business July 26-29, 2022.

Through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, the summit further aims to restore confidence and reactivate the tourism sector to rebuild a more resilient tourism economy in the future.

2022-06-21 Staff reporter

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