Visitor experiences and attractions are often the reason people choose to visit a city or region.

So said Sabine Lehmann, Founder and Executive Director of The African Association of Visitor and Media Attractions (AAVEA), following the opening of this first-ever association of its kind, on March 6.

Lehmann explains: “Visitor experiences and attractions play an important role in the tourism economy and are often the reason people choose to visit a city or region in the first place. Through AAVEA and our conference, we hope to raise the profile of attractions within the tourism industry, be the voice of the attractions sector, and contribute to the quality of attraction and visitor experience management.”

AAVEA is a membership-driven organisation and offers the only educational opportunities for visitor experience and attraction professionals in Africa. The association aims to unify and elevate the attractions sector whilst raising the contribution that attractions and visitor experiences make to the tourism industry. It will also hold an annual conference where members and non-members in the attractions sector can network, learn, share and seek industry solutions together.

AAVEA has also been recognised by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as its African representation in its Europe, Middle East and Africa Division, known as IAAPA EMEA.

“Attractions Africa, now AAVEA, has been instrumental in the growth of the attractions industry in Africa. We are excited to work with them to strengthen our presence in the continent. We, as IAAPA EMEA, look forward to co-hosting with AAVEA our Institute for Attraction Managers training course that will be held in Cape Town in the latter part of 2019, and our global leadership forum in South Africa in early 2020,” concluded Jakob Wahl, Vice President and Executive Director of IAAPA.