ATA Congress News & Views Volume 2

24 May

IN THIS ISSUE

Recap of the ATA Congress

News

* ATA Congress Ends with Pledge to Build New Partnership for Tourism Development

* The Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture Named New ATA President

* United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Attends the ATA Congress

* New York University-Africa House, the World Bank and ATA Release Joint Publication

* Delegates Explore Latest Industry Topics

* ATA Presents Awards at the Farewell Dinner at the Senegambia Hotel

* The Gambia President Welcomes Delegates to the “Smiling Coast of Africa”

* ATA Goes Green and Offsets its Carbon “Footprint” in The Gambia

* Gambia Organizing Committee Declares a “Sustainable ATA Congress”

* Delegates Support James Island Restoration Project

* U.S. Ambassador and Coco Ocean Resort and Spa Host Evening Reception

The Gambia Congress in the Media

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RECAP OF THE ATA CONGRESS

This is the last issue of ATA Gambia Congress News & Views, the e-newsletter of ATA’s 35th Annual Congress at the Sheraton Hotel Spa & Resort in The Gambia from May 17-20, 2010. We hope you enjoyed the two e-newsletters, the adjoining congress ATA blog and congress updates on our ATA Facebook Fan Page. We also hope you’ll visit the Gambia Organizing Committee ATA Gambia Facebook Page. Thanks in large part to your participation and support, the congress was a great success and The Gambia’s hospitality was welcomed and enjoyed by all of us.

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NEWS

ATA Congress Ends with Pledge to Build New Partnership for Tourism Development

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – ATA’s 35th Annual Congress ended on Thursday with a commitment among Africa’s tourism stakeholders to boost efforts to develop new public-private partnerships devoted to advocating for and developing the tourism industry in Africa. Honorable Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, The Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture and incoming ATA President, closed the event that was attended by more than 300 participants as well as press from Africa, Europe and North America… (To read eTurboNews coverage, click here.)

The Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture Named New ATA President

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – Honorable Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture of The Gambia, was selected as President of ATA at the conclusion of ATA’s 35th Annual Congress at the Sheraton Hotel Spa and Resort by the incoming ATA Board of Directors that was elected in the afternoon. The Minister succeeds Honorable Shamsa Mwangunga, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism of the United Republic of Tanzania, who was appointed ATA President in May 2008 at the 33rd Annual Congress in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Minister began her thank you remarks by saying she was honored to be named President. She then outlined three areas of priority for ATA during her presidency. “We need to help the Board of Directors ensure that we have sufficient funds to produce events; we have to be very aggressive in the membership drive; and we have to make sure that the members actively participate in the association.”

To accomplish these goals, the Minister asked for “the support of all of the members of ATA and the whole of Africa.” She concluded by congratulating ATA on a successful congress and thanking everybody for their support. (Click here for pictures.)

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Attends the ATA Congress

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – The United Nations Tourism Organization (UNWTO) attended the Africa Travel Association’s 35th Annual Congress at the Sheraton Hotel Spa and Resort in The Gambia from May 17-20, 2010. More than 300 participants from Africa, Europe and North America, as well as the press, also attended the travel trade conference. During the workshops and networking events, ATA and UNWTO engaged in discussions on how the two global organizations would pursue collaboration and cooperation in the areas of travel and tourism development in Africa in the future… (Click here for full press release.)

New York University-Africa House, the World Bank and ATA Release Joint Publication

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – Based on a call to action from Dr. Yaw Nyarko, Director of the Africa House at New York University, during ATA’s 34th Annual Cairo in Egypt, ATA announced the launch of a joint effort by New York University’s Africa House, the World Bank and ATA to make a case for developing Africa’s tourism industry with the preparation of the joint publication The State of Tourism in Africa. Using facts, figures and stories, the report paints a picture of the current and potential impact of tourism on both a country’s and a region’s development strategy. The report also advocates for increased attention and resource allocation from national governments to the tourism industry. (Email: info@africatravelassociaton.org for a copy.)

Delegates Explore Latest Industry Topics

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – Delegates explored the latest travel trade industry topics in the following plenaries, workshops and sessions: Models of Sustainable and Responsible Tourism in The Gambia, Innovative and Interactive Marketing (Tools for the Tourism Industry), Niche Markets and Emerging Trends, Standards in the Hotel Market in Africa, Connecting the Africa Diaspora to Destination Africa, and Hospitality and Tourism Education in Africa. Special sessions were held on tourism and development, advocating for tourism resources, and partnerships with airlines serving Africa. The congress also offered a forum for the Young Professionals Network, an ATA Business-to-Business Exchange for Buyers and Sellers, and The Gambia Marketplace. (Click here to view program; click here for pictures of business exchange and marketplace.)

ATA Presents Awards at Farewell Dinner at the Senegambia Hotel

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – At the farewell dinner at the Senegambia Beach Hotel, ATA presented a number of awards to the following leading travel and trade professionals serving Africa. (Click here for pictures.)

2010 Outstanding Service to the Organization
Honorable Fatou Mass Jobe Njie, Secretary of State for Tourism & Culture, The Gambia

2010 Outstanding Service to the Organization
Kaliba Senghore, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, The Gambia

2010 Outstanding Achievement, Development of Responsible Tourism in the Continent
CDC Development Solutions

2010 Outstanding Service to the Organization
Alieu Secka, Chairman, The Gambian Hotel Association

2010 Outstanding Leadership in Promotion of Responsible Tourism to the Continent
Dr. Yaw Nyarko, NYU Africa House

2010 Outstanding Leadership in ATA
Hon. Shamsa Selengia Mwangunga, Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism, United Republic of Tanzania, President, ATA

2010 Founders Award
Omar Carrera, Sheraton Addis

The Gambia President Welcomes Delegates to the “Smiling Coast of Africa”

Wednesday, May 19 – As a sign of his steadfast commitment to developing The Gambia’s tourism industry and tourism across Africa, President of The Republic of the Gambia, Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhaji Yaya A. J. J. Jammeh, hosted the delegates at a number of special events, including a visit to his home village, Kanilai, where everyone enjoyed traditional Gambian entertainment and cuisine. Later in the evening, the President surprised the delegates with a dinner reception at The Sheraton Gambia Hotel and Resort. Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Culture, Honorable Kaliba Senghore announced that President Jammeh “wanted to reward the delegates for making the long trip to see his home village.” Vice President Aja Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy attended the dinner on behalf of the President. The dinner celebration included an African buffet feast and live musicians playing African music. The Gambia also hosted two special evening events during the congress, including a welcome reception at the Kairaba Hotel and a farewell dinner at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.

ATA Goes Green and Off-Sets its Carbon “Footprint” in The Gambia

Wednesday, May 19 – Recognizing that tourism has a direct impact on the environment, the ATA Gambia Organizing Committee decided to raise awareness of responsible tourism and sustainable travel by opening the ATA Gambia Forest. Thanks to the support of GIG (Gambia is Good), a project funded and operated by Concern Universal, delegates planted seedlings for cashew and mahogany trees, which will help offset the Congress’s carbon footprint. This is the first time an ATA congress is carbon neutral. (Click here for more details; click here for pictures.)

Gambia Organizing Committee Declares a “Sustainable ATA Congress”

Wednesday, May 19 – The Gambia Organizing Committee announced its commitment to hosting the first “Carbon Off-Set Free” ATA congress. In addition to planting seedlings to grow an “ATA Forest” at the GIG Forest, the Committee limited the “carbon footprint” of the congress by ordering produce from the award-winning project Gambia is Good. GIG sources all its produce from local producers. “This is a win-win situation for ATA Gambia, the tourism industry and the local farming communities,” said Marcel Hendrikx, a Congress Committee member.

Delegates Support James Island Restoration Project

Tuesday, May 18 – On the first of two Host Country days, delegates visited James lsland and Juffureh. James Island is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was a base of transportation of slaves from The Gambia to other parts of the world. At James Island, delegates participated in a special memorial, in which they floated flower wreathes down the River Gambia and stood in a moment of silence. Delegates were also asked to consider making a donation for the restoration of the jetty to James Island. The project was organized in cooperation with U.S. Ambassador Barry Wells. (Click here for pictures.) Click here to read more about the delegates’ trip to James Island and Juffreh

U.S. Ambassador and Coco Ocean Resort and Spa Host Evening Reception

Tuesday, May 18 – Following the day-long visit to James Island, the delegates enjoyed a special cocktail reception at the brand new luxury hotel, Coco Ocean Resort and Spa. The evening event was co-hosted by the US Ambassador to The Gambia, Honorable Barry Wells and the U.S. Embassy Banjul, The Gambia. (Click here to read interview with the Ambassador.)

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Delegate Profiles

Darius Cappelli, Travel Trade Journalist, Travel World News

Diego Lofeudo, Director of Market Management, Eastern Mediterranean and Africa, Expedia

His Excellency Barry Wells, Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of The Gambia

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The Gambia Congress in the Media

WorldTourismDirectory.com
Africa Travel Association Congress in Gambia ends with pledge to build new partnerships for tourism development

ForImmediateRelease.net
Africa Travel Association Congress in Gambia ends with pledge to build new partnerships for tourism development

eTurboNews
UNWTO and ATA Discuss Ways to Cooperate with Tourism Development; United Nations World Tourism Organization attend Africa Travel Association Congress in the Gambia

Afranblog
Tourism Tipped as Driver of Gambia’s Socio-Economic Growth

Promotional Video on the Congress YouTube
Click here.

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