After a 45-year hiatus, the African Travel Commission (ATC) has been revived and repositioned to promote intra-Africa travel and tourism activities; as well as, to the rest of the world.
This was made known by Mr. Lucky Onoriode George, Executive Director of ATC, who says that Africa has now finally found its voice following the revival of the once-powerful continental body that helped shape global tourism activities between 1965 and 1975.
According Mr. George, ATC initially established in 1965, and operated up to 1975 was to function just like the European Travel Commission (ETC) shortly after many African countries gained independence from colonial powers and started running their own affairs as sovereign nations.
He noted that ATC was established as a regional voice for Africa, and due to the reforms it initiated then, the International Union of Official Travel Organizations [IUOTO] was transformed into World Tourism Organization (WTO) before it was retransformed in 2014 into the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
ATC’s contributions also led IUOTO to initiate September 27 every year as the globally celebrated World Tourism Day.
The ATC Executive Director reiterated that the newly revived commission, working with stakeholders in both the private and public sectors in the tourism industry on the continent would actualize the dreams of improving intra-African tourism.
“As we look forward to working with critical stakeholders in both private and public sectors respectively, we hope the new ATC that is now expanded to include all national tourism agencies, tourism federations, and institutions; the dream of elevating intra African tourism can eventually be achieved,” George said.
While also quoting the late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, Nigerian Tourism Czar and former Secretary-General, Nigeria Tourist Association (NTA), now Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), George said “the future of Nigeria and Africa tourism will be determined by the amount of time and space dedicated to it by the travel press.”
ATC is a Non-Profit Organization [NPO] established to provide a platform where tourism officials and business professionals could meet and collaborate; as well as, connect experts and stakeholders that have shared vision across the travel and tourism industry in Africa.
Its activities are to be implemented by the executive unit based in Accra, Ghana under the guidance of the board of directors, and with the support of a number of expert groups.
The mission of ATC remains to promote intra Africa travel and sell the continent to the rest of the world.
Membership is open to all.