The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr Fish Mahlalela has attended the 5th Annual Africa Tourism Leadership Forum in Gaborone, Botswana from the 24 – 26 October 2022, under the theme 'Ensuring Affordable Regional Air Connectivity: Advocating for African Countries to Unlock Open Skies Bottlenecks'.
He will be sharing the stage today, 26 October 2022, with Minister of Transport and Public Works of Botswana, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism from Tanzania and Airline Executives in unpacking this theme.
Their main focus will be what solutions can African Tourism Ministers and Executives provide to Ministers of Transport, Finance and Aviation to improve intra-Africa connectivity and also how should these Ministries work together with national Tourism Organisations to facilitate affordable intra-Africa and domestic air travel by reducing airport taxes, landing fees and government charges to help reduce cost of travel in Africa.
Furthermore, the discussions will also look at what should be done by policy makers in Africa to work with Airline companies to improve air connectivity by reducing route monopoly while improving private sector competitiveness.
Mahlalela is of the view that one of the main lessons drawn from our battle against Covid19 was that we are interconnected globally, and therefore there is a need for Africa to be self-sufficient.
According to him these lessons enjoin us to explore new collaborative methods and to shift focus to intra-Africa tourism, for us to realize that collaboration and not competition is the way to go.
However, to achieve this pan-African collaboration, we must unlock the bottlenecks that continue to strangle intra-Africa tourism.
These bottlenecks include cumbersome visa regimes, airlift capacity, poor connectivity and cost of travel and poor infrastructure.
For more information contact: Dumisani Mlangeni @ 083 561 8244 or email: DMlangeni@tourism.gov.za