Posted by Sade Williams
The organisers of the biggest travel and tourism expo in West Africa, AKWAABA African Travel Market says that the 18th Edition of the event will focus more attention on Medical Tourism.
They said this while announcing the date for the 2022 edition of the annual event. The event is billed to hold at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria from 31st October to the 1st of November, 2022.
The African Travel Market has grown over the years to become the most important platform for marketing travel and tourism in West Africa and is among the top 5 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 in integral part of tourism. Recently, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) had a joint program with the World Health Organization WHO to streamline their strategies.
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.”
The “Montenegro Statement” recognizes that health and tourism are deeply interconnected in the globalized world. According to the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed who supervises tourism, Nigerians spent over $1 billion on Medical Tourism in 2021. This underscores the importance of this type of tourism and the need to examine the role of health travels in the growth of tourism and travel. Hospitals and medical tourism organisations from different countries will be invited to this year’s 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. The growth of medical tourism in the last few years demanded more focus on that sector of tourism. 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.
Akwaaba is the Premier Travel Market in West Africa “where Africa meets the World”. Akwaaba has hosted Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President Dawda Jawara of The Gambia, Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Sir Emeka Anyaoku, Former Vice President of Nigeria Sir Alex Ekwueme, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Remi Tinubu, many Ministers of Tourism from different African Countries and some State Governors. Many Ambassadors and High Commissioners attend AKWAABA regularly.
Africa Travel 100 Awards
The Africa Travel 100 Awards now in her 18th year has recognized over the years industry practitioners, leaders, and governments who have promoted tourism and demystified travel using unique platforms and new information. Some of our past projects include:
• Africa Travel 100 – Top 100 Travel Companies in West Africa- 2016
• Africa Travel 100 – Top 100 Women in Travel and Tourism -2017
• Africa Travel 100 – Top 100 Tour Operators in Africa -2018
• Africa Travel 100- Top Global Personalities -2019
The Jollof Rice War is a now in its 5th year. It is an event that draws attention to the rich culinary resources of West Africa.
Akwaaba Delegates have access and face to face discussions with many Destinations and Suppliers which includes over 300 Travel Professionals from Nigeria, West Africa and around Africa.
In 2019 Akwaaba had in attendance Hon. Sharon Palacio- the Mayor of Belmopan in Belize, Ms. Carol Hay – the former Director Caribbean Tourism Organization CTO UK, The Ambassadors of Ghana Senegal, Jamaica and the Trinidad and Tobago, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Fabien Anthony Co-founder Pan Africa Council, Alain St Ange Former Minister of Tourism Seychelles, Ministers amongst others.