The 25th International Tourism Safety Conference, organized by the International Tourism Safety Association held from the 15th April to 18th April of 2018 at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, United States. The conference covered topics such as the enhancing the brand equity of Africa beyond safety and security, Israeli model of security regulation, tourism security European perspective on crimes against tourists and how to pro-actively adress the impact of safety and security tourism marketing.
The conference is aimed at providing delegates with new information, trends, strategies and best practices in keeping tourist safe. Attendees included, but not limited to global tourism development experts, destination marketing experts, academics, renowned tourism safety and security experts and officials from over 22 countries.
Speaking passionately about destination Africa and proudly flying the the African flag high, the CEO of Africa Tourism Partners, Kwakye Donkor said Africa is a multi-faceted destination with 54 unique destinations, and tourists to Africa will always be spoilt for choice. “Africa is a continent and a world in one continent with unique attractions, vibrant culture and experiences beyond wildlife. Even though tourism safety and security is an issue, it all depends on whether one sees the glass as half full or half empty, but to him the glass is always half full,” he explained
Donkor’s key message is, the issue of tourism safety and security in Africa is not as bad as it is in other parts of the world, simply because African countries and their security agencies know the hot spots of safety and security, and are pro-actively dealing with these. “Our major challenge, however, is brand equity and perception deficit the continent faces. Therefore, African governments, particularly, tourism agencies and their parent ministries will have to collaborate with their private sector entities to change these perceptions. If not, the momentum building and creating more power brand Africa will not just continue of its own accord.” He emphasized.
Underscoring the glass half full scenario he said Africa Tourism Partners with the support of Ghana Tourism Board and its parent Ministry Ghana Africa, is hosting the Inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards on 31 August and 1 September, 2018 in Accra, Ghana, as their contribution to alleviating the issue of brand equity deficit that Destination Africa faces.
This effort has been recognized by one of the leading African tourism media company, Voyages Afriq, which has just joined the Forum’s media partnership. We hope this will put more spotlight on Africa’s tourism attractiveness, good stories, investment opportunities and enhance positive perceptions rather than focusing on its safety, securities and other socio-economic challenges only.” he said
“The safety and security of visitors and residents is a top priority for any destination’s tourism industry, so it’s imperative to be aware of the current trends and information,” said Ray Suppe, president of the International Tourism Safety Association and executive director of customer safety for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA.) “For more than two decades, Las Vegas has proudly hosted this important conference where tourism security officials can come together to learn, grown and develop professionally.”
Other Conference presentations included the views from India, Europe and Americas on tourism and terrorism, making safety and security a requirement in tourism, destination marketing and hospitality training, art crime and museums and preventative measures.