Judy Kepher Gona, STTAs Founder and Lead Consultant makes her opening remarks
The 8th Sustainable Tourism Africa Summit was held on the 8th and 9th of June, 2023 in Mombasa, Kenya.
Just like the previous summits, the 2023 summit aimed to chart the pathways for sustainable tourism in Africa.
With each iteration, the summit becomes a catalyst for fresh ideas, fostering new partnerships, and inspiring transformative actions in the realm of sustainable tourism.
Through thought-provoking presentations and engaging side workshops, participants gained invaluable insights and knowledge, paving the way for their next expedition in the realm of responsible and eco-conscious travel. STTA believes that sustainable tourism is the competitive advantage that Africa has in terms of tourism.
As the summit continues to evolve, it ignites a completely new frontier of possibilities, pushing the boundaries of sustainable tourism and shaping a future where environmental stewardship and memorable experiences intertwine harmoniously.
The summit officially began on 8th June 2023. During her opening speech, Judy Kepher Gona, the Founder and Lead Consultant at STTA, emphasized the importance of sustainable tourism dialogues among the various tourism value chains in Africa. She emphasized the theme of the summit, centered on tourism value chains and sustainability in Africa, highlighting the significance of fostering dialogues and collaboration among the various stakeholders within the tourism industry.
In the proceedings of the conference, some of the key presentations were; Gerard (Ged) Brown’s introductory remarks highlighted the potential negative impact of post-COVID tourism growth on emissions. He stressed the urgent need for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to decarbonize aviation and called for increased investment. The importance of adopting long-term thinking and sustainable practices for the benefit of future generations was emphasized.
Delegates follow proceedings during the STAS 2023
Julie Cheetham, CEO of Weeva, discussed the global poly-crisis faced by the tourism industry and emphasized the need for data-driven solutions to foster sustainable practices. She underscored the significance of technology and data-driven decision-making in optimizing business operations and embedding sustainability. The measurement, management, and reporting of impact were highlighted as crucial steps toward achieving sustainability goals.
Prof. Ray Mutinda explored the tourism value chain and addressed gaps in the cultural and heritage sector. He proposed innovative practices to ensure sustainability, resource efficiency, community well-being, and local prosperity. Strengthening the value chain through mapping, analyzing bottlenecks, and implementing interventions were recommended, along with supportive policies and monitoring mechanisms.
Julie Cheetham and Dr. Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner from Weeva conducted a master class on initiating sustainability journeys. They emphasized sustainability as a long-term coexistence on Earth, encompassing environmental, economic, and social dimensions. Weeva’s balanced scorecard approach with the 4Cs (commerce, conservation, community, and culture) was introduced as a framework.
Dr. Portia Pearl Sifolo presented her research on digitalization within the tourism supply chain, focusing on small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa. She highlighted the opportunities and challenges associated with adopting digital technologies to enhance competitiveness and preserve cultural practices.
Nicanor Sabula emphasized the importance of eco-conscious venues, effective waste management, energy efficiency, and education in developing sustainable Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) value chains. The interconnected goals of economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social well-being were highlighted.
Dr. Billy Wadongo and Dr. Misiko presented their work on the dual green and digital transition in the hospitality and tourism sector, specifically within Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions and universities. The BILT UNEVOC project focused on identifying skills needs and the impact of digitalization. The importance of innovative solutions, upskilling, and preserving historical and cultural practices within the digital landscape was discussed.
STTA Kenya takes pride in organizing the Sustainable Tourism Africa Summit 2023 and creating a platform where industry leaders and stakeholders could come together, exchange ideas, and take decisive action. The success of this event reinforces STTA Kenya’s dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and driving positive change within the industry.
STTA remains committed to organizing future editions of the Sustainable Tourism Africa Summit. The aim is to continue providing a platform for industry leaders, stakeholders, and passionate individuals to convene. The tentative dates and venue for the 2024 summit are June 6-7, 2024 at Sarova Whitesands, Mombasa, Kenya. The theme will be announced before the end of the year 2023.
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