- Chidozie Uzoezie
HRM Ooni of Ife to Grace Africa Diaspora Conference at Akwaaba
The Ooni of Ife, His Majesty Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ojaja II will attend the African Tourism Diaspora Conference as the Special Guest of Honour to be held at the 15th Akwaaba African Travel Market, September 22nd to 24th, 2019 in Lagos.
The Oba will be addressing not just the Yoruba nation at the event which takes place SEPTEMBER 23rd but the global African diaspora on bringing African Cultures together to grow its people.
The Ooni in his remark while receiving the Akwaaba team who came to invite him on the Side lines of a NATOP visit said “there are over 500 million Yoruba’s across the world and the Ancestral home of Ile-Ife is ready to welcome them when they visit Nigeria”. He said the African Tourism Diaspora conference is a great platform and timely for this important conversation to be held.
AKWAABA will present the African Tourism Diaspora Conference on September 23, 2019 as a part of the week-long AKWAABA African Travel Market. Africa with 54 countries and a population of 1.2 billion has unbelievable tourism attractions.
The African diaspora and Africa have same unique culture, a rich heritage and beautiful destinations for Tourism and Trade, therefore, there is a need to connect and combine these wonderful cultures and population together as a market for mutual benefit.
This is as the Organisers announced the partnership deal with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation UK Chapter for this year’s event. The partnership was signed last year at the World Travel Market held in London. The Caribbean Tourism Organisation represents the tourism board of the Caribbean Islands.
At the Caribbean Tourism Organizations Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Carlton House Terrace, London, Dein Gbabo, Business Development Manager, Akwaaba Travel Market made a presentation about the upcoming event in September to participants.
The CTO members were very excited to explore the African market for the very first time this year, and will be using Akwaaba Travel market as a platform to shore up tourists from the continent and also showcase beautiful tourist’s’ site of the Caribbean Islands. The CTO’s participation at the Exhibitions was announced to partners as part of the Caribbean month’s events of 2019.
The AGM had a good turnout of partners from British Airways, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Antiga and Berbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Dominica, St Vincent’s and the grenadines, Tour operators, Influencers and DMC’s and also featured a panel discussion moderated by Jamie-Lee Abtar BDM CTO UK Chapter on the Topic: Under the Influence; Paving the way for Diversity in Travel. Great panel discussion on the use of influencers for destination marketing, diversity in marketing products to meet product specification and audience and creating experiences and cultural inclusion to travel.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization had last year in London signed up for the Akwaaba 2019 during the World Travel Market. Africa and its diaspora have had a very strange relationship over the years because of the unfortunate history. They need each other in a complimentary way but have not yet worked out how to relate. Tourism could be a sure way to build a sustainable relationship.
2019 marks the 400 years of slavery since 1619 when the First Africans were taken by Force to the Caribbean and America , a very sensitive discuss which has kept a strange relationship between Africans and her diaspora. It presents the opportunity to celebrate the merging of Africans, Americans, Caribbean’s and the rest of the world during this memorable gathering. The African Diaspora Tourism conference presents a platform to discuss, initiate, dialogue and celebrate this new relationship.
The African Tourism Diaspora Conference goals include (EPN -Educate, Promote, Network): 1) Serving as an educational tool for international leaders regarding cultural heritage tourism 2) Promoting visitation and tourism to participating countries, cities and destinations to help to stimulate their economies. 3) Networking among thought leaders and bridging the gap
Highlighting the following discussions to be led by renowned African leaders; •African Tourism Diaspora Conference spotting the year of return Paper 1: Uniting African Cultures together Paper 2: The Year of return: Connecting Africa and its diaspora. Actions, challenges and The future Paper 3: African Heritage of the Caribbean: connecting the dots
In 2016, at Akwaaba African Travel Market started the Africa Travel and Tourism Conference and has since featured the largest gatherings of Top Aviation, Tourism professionals and discussed key topics that stirred the industry and have generated some significant impact thereon. These topics included; 1 year accident free commercial aviation in 2017, why Airlines fail, Women in Tourism conference, African Tour operators conference, Youth in Tourism conference; Challenges and the future.
Since there has been no other comprehensive conference bringing leaders in tourism of the African Diaspora who have helped to make black cultural heritage tourism what it is today, the African Tourism Diaspora Conference is a worthwhile event that will be very significant to the culture, tourism industry and beyond.
Akwaaba expects the attendance of dignitaries, government officials, professionals, corporate executives, organization and association leaders and scholars, as well as cultural, heritage and travel enthusiasts in general.