Small, medium and micro-sized (SMME) businesses are considered crucial to the new tourism economy created by the onset of COVID-19.
“They bring fresh ideas and flexibility to adapt to a new tourism economy,” said South African Tourism Acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, noting that this was why Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit would dedicate a day to empower future Pioneers and Game Changers in the tourism sector.
The Summit is being hosted as a hybrid event, simultaneously in three major cities in Africa – Johannesburg, Durban and Lagos – between September 19 and 21.
SMME Day, held on September 19, would focus on best practices in an ever-changing Brand Africa, and provide these businesses with opportunities to exchange leads and collaborate as drivers for transforming the sector, explained Dlamini.
“The Summit is what the African travel trade needs right now and SMME Day is a perfect way to reboot the tourism economy as small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of tourism. Many of the business people at SMME Day will be seasoned entrepreneurs. They do not want to know how they should run their business. Instead, they are here to find ways of adapting their businesses to a new kind of tourism market.”
Dlamini added that the new post-COVID tourism sector would rely more on digital technology, stringent health and safety standards and new ways to package travel, particularly for the outdoors. But she warned against too much speculation and asked that industry players focus on working together instead.
“Right now, we cannot really predict what the tourism market will look like or what it should be. Instead, we should spend our energy on working together to rebuild the tourism sector and make it even more robust than it was before the COVID-19 era.”
With the theme ‘Re-awakening Africa’, the Summit calls on all tourism stakeholders to reflect, reimagine and reignite a tourism sector ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click HERE to register to join the SMME Day or to attend the two-day Summit.