The African tourism industry has seen an avalanche of innovation in recent years, as more and more countries are beginning to appreciate the value of tourism and its contribution to their economies. One leader in this effort is Kwayke Donkor, CEO of Africa Tourism Partners, who seeks to further increase the involvement of local leaders, businesses, and youth in the industry.
Kwayke has spearheaded the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum, an annual platform where both private and public sector leaders come together to debate issues, share insights, create awareness, and advocate for the industry. The Forum has been held in Ghana, Botswana, and Rwanda, with the goal of improving the industry’s competitiveness, advocating for the removal of barriers, and promoting intra-Africa travel. It has also featured panelists from America, universities, and has focused on educating Africans on hospitality management.
In Rwanda, Kwayke has worked on the African Tourism Innovation Hub, an initiative to boost youth involvement and foster skill development across the industry. He has also championed “Botswana First,” a concept to use Botswana as a case study to guide other countries in implementing initiatives.
Domestic and regional tourism are of paramount importance for the industry, and reconfiguring products and pricing strategies to meet the needs of local tourists is necessary. South Africa, for example, sees 70% of its arrivals come from the diaspora, yet not much is done to invest in the country.
Kwayke has some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in the tourism industry: “My humble advice is always good to have a mentor. Don’t try and swim on your own because you’ll be eaten by sharks.” Furthermore, it is important to be passionate and to start small, engaging with people on social media in order to build a successful tourism business.
It is clear that Kwayke and Africa Tourism Partners are invested in making sure the African tourism industry is on the right path to success. With the right support and investment, the industry can be an even bigger contributor to the African continent.