Airbnb Africa Travel Summit happening this Oct.


More than 200 policymakers, tourism experts, innovators and changemakers from across the continent are set to gather at the Airbnb Africa Travel Summit in Johannesburg on 24 October; to explore, innovate and collaborate on building an inclusive and sustainable tourism industry across Africa.

The Summit, hosted by Airbnb, is the second of its kind and will take place at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg, South Africa. Moderated by Afua Osei, co-founder of She Leads Africa, the event will convene a line-up of more than 20 speakers and panellists who will facilitate an interactive day of discussion and networking around the role of tourism and technology in driving continued, inclusive and sustainable economic empowerment and growth across the continent.

Patricia de Lille, Minister of Tourism, will take the stage for the welcome note, alongside other notable thought-leaders including Bankole Oluwafemi, Founder of TechCabal; Juliette Langlais, Airbnb’s Director of Public Policy and Campaigns for Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Anita Mendiratta, Global Strategic Advisor on Tourism & Development.

They will be joined by representatives from UNESCO and the WTTC, as well as changemakers in inclusivity, sustainability and tech regulation. Zozibini Tunzi, actress, model and advocate of empowerment and inclusivity, will present the final keynote speech; and the evening will end with a performance by world-renowned recording artist Bongeziwe Mabandla.

Each speaker and delegate will bring a unique perspective to the summit’s overarching theme – sharing lived experience, research findings and thoughts on best practices around how travel and technology can drive a more inclusive and sustainable future, and help support the recovery of tourism post-pandemic.

The programme will include interactive participation, networking opportunities,and experiential elements through curated panel discussions, ChangeMaker sessions and case-study presentations, including:

  • ChangeMaker Presentation: the transformative power of technology in Africa, led by Bankole Oluwafemi-TechCabal.
  • Fireside Chat: building inclusivity in travel, with Bheki Dube from Curiocity and Phakamile Hlazo from Zulu Nomad.
  • Panel: regulating new technologies, centred on how policymakers and tech companies can collaborate to ensure evidence-based decision-making, moderated by Sofia Gkiousou-Google.

The Airbnb Africa Travel Summit builds on Airbnb’s commitment to inclusive tourism in South Africa, and its proposal for new measures will help build a more inclusive tourism economy – and enable government and the private sector to work together on addressing important issues, such as systemic barriers to entry and inequality.

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead-Middle East Africa at Airbnb said: “To support continued recovery and growth of the tourism industry, the Africa Travel Summit will bring together leading thinkers from across the continent to discuss how we can leverage technology and innovation to empower more local families and their communities to benefit from African travel.

“We look forward to facilitating important discussions among industry, policymakers and changemakers to collaboratively build a sustainable and inclusive tourism model that benefits everyone. A process that we are certain will both inspire and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit across Africa.”

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