July 24 (Constitution Hill, Johannesburg)
African tourism can play a significant role in the economic development of countries on the continent, while also battling to save one of its most precious natural resources, wildlife. There are clear needs for the countries on the continent to embrace crisis preparedness, despite the frequency of events, countries must learn to systemically plan as well as develop long term strategies for destination diversification, ending wildlife crime and addressing the impacts of climate change to ensure sustainable economic growth. Today’s summit will surface issues for consideration and action, starting with understanding crisis management and preparedness, the value of tourism as an economic driver, the connection between tourism and conservation and finally addressing the “continental blur”. Not everything that happens on the continent, happens in each of the 54 countries.
Tourism is an economic driver of the planet. One in five jobs are in the industry, the GDP’s of many nation states are tied to the performance of their tourism sector, which is also a driver for peace through education and social collaboration. These components are key to building resiliency yet is there a disconnect when governments look at crisis preparedness? Are governments supporting the sector robustly? What can be done to get more recognition and funding from government?
What constitutes a crisis, how to prepare for it and what are the essential things to know? One thing everyone agrees upon when talking about preparedness is that planning is essential. Drafting a plan is the result of the exercise but the actual planning and training are the critical ingredient. With various types of crisis from man-made to natural disasters, what are the key elements to ensuring a country or a business are ready for when they are confronted by crisis? Are governments connecting the dots?
The Ethiopian 302 disaster in March 2019, took 157 souls, Boeing share prices dropped 25-35% and the FAA sat on its hands before grounding the 737 MAX. New equipment issues have surfaced and no trust or brand credit is available for Boeing. What role do the associations or authorities play and what trust has remained in these institutions? Crises are not only born out of natural disasters or terrorism. When these events happen how should companies respond? How are crisis communications handled and what are the lessons learned and still being learned relative to the Ethiopian event?
Since 2015 water levels were declining. At the same time dam levels were not being replenished, population numbers were increasing, and usage forecasts indicated the city of Cape town’s water would run out. The crisis hit epic proportions in summer 2017 and action was swift and severe through 2018 when the situation was stabilized. We’ll hear from one of the architects - what was done, what lessons were learned and what framework can others take away for similar situations in the making.
For the 5th year in a row, Johannesburg has been identified by Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Report as the number one city in Africa, wherein 162 cities are ranked in terms of visitor volume and spend. What does the data say from Euromonitor or from the City itself? How has Johannesburg had such success? Does the city’s success help to distinguish South Africa from Africa? How does data help cities to differentiate and how can it be applied on the continent to build brand diversity for the countries and bust the “continental blur’? What data is available and do tourist boards, tour operators and DMO’s maximize the value of published data? Can travel businesses learn to use data for developing their business strategy?
Absolute to Africa’s brand is her natural beauty and wildlife. But poaching, climate change and man have threatened natural habitats. Over 1 million animal species are set to go extinct. How can the countries of Africa unite in conservation or sustainable programs to protect the animals as well as the natural beauty? The key is working within local communities by establishing job and educational opportunities. What partnerships are available and how to bridge the divide in opposing viewpoints? How can tourism help in this complex debate?
How can destinations ensure long term sustainable tourism and build in resiliency in case of crisis? The strategic development of community lands brings together the engagement of local communities, tourism and education with resiliency by creating a cycle of success that benefits all. Likewise, affinity marketing, technology and social media platforms feed into these projects through positive narratives which build differentiation amongst destinations. Done correctly, these combinations minimize the negative impact of any crisis.
South Africa has a well established reputation for wine and safari but new and exciting offerings are enhancing her image with innovative programs such as “the Indigenous Experience”, “Good Times in a Box” or “I Do Tourism” – are these initiatives driving a “new South African image” ? Improving acceptance amongst locals? Countering global concerns about crime? Since safaris are such a large part of African tourism, how can they contribute differently?
Everyone in the travel industry wants to work better with the media. Tourism offices suffer from time and budgetary constraints. This session will give the media’s perspective on the job they are trying to do and how members of the media can work more effectively with them, particularly in times of crisis.
Our Event Moderator along with the Resilience Council and the BBC will review the key messages from the day that require action and follow-up or further discussion.
IIPT Destination Awards (International Institute for Peace Through Tourism) presented to nominees furthering resiliency through travel and tourism in South Africa and across the Continent.