Organiser Reveals Date For 2021 #AKWAABA Africa Travel Expo
—Organiser of the AKWAABA Africa Travel Market, Mr Ikechi Uko, says the 18th edition of the expo, which will hold from Oct. 31 to Nov.1, will focus more attention on medical tourism.
Uko in a statement on Tuesday said this year’s edition of the event, would hold at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos.
He said that the growth of medical tourism in the last few years demanded more focus on that sector of tourism.
“The African Travel Market has grown over the years to become the most important platform for marketing travel and tourism in West Africa.
“It is among the top five tourism events in Africa, drawing attendance of over 20 countries within and outside Africa.
“The organisers have decided to give a lot of attention to medical tourism and health insurance at the 2022 edition of the event.
“This is because of the increasing importance of medical tourism in Africa, the world is thinking about wellness and health as an integral part of tourism,” he said.
Uko noted that recently, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) had a joint programme with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to streamline their strategies.
He said according to UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, “COVID-19 showed that any crisis that threatens the health, safety and security of people, communities and the environment is also a risk to tourism itself.
“I am confident that strong cooperation at all levels will place health high on the tourism agenda, it will make for healthy tourists, healthy communities, a healthy environment and healthy economies for current and future generations.”
Uko also quoted the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as saying that Nigerians spent over one billion dollars on medical tourism in 2021.
He noted that this underscored the importance of this type of tourism and the need to examine the role of health travels in the growth of tourism and travel.
Uko said that hospitals and medical tourism organisations from different countries would be invited to the AKWAABA African Travel Market.
“This 18th Akwaaba will host the 5th edition of the African Travel and Tourism Conference and the 2nd edition of Africa Travel 100 Women Awards.
“In 2017, AKWAABA African Travel Market hosted the top 100 Travel and Tourism Women in Africa and this brought together for the first-time women travel professionals from all over Africa with over 250 people in attendance.
“In 2018 it hosted the Top 100 tour operators in Africa and hosted the African Diaspora Global Awards in 2019. The 2022 edition will bring back the Top 100 of the leading Female Airline Pilots, the Ministers, the Hotel Managers and Leading Operators in Africa.
“Leisure and corporate travel had been the leading source of travel business out of and into Nigeria and West Africa.
“There will be a B2B session on Medical Tourism and Health Insurance on the 1st of November along with a panel discussion with experts from both receiving countries and departing destinations,” he said