1. Visitors: This comprised of individuals who were exposed to the potentials of African tourism. This group also includes the media, who were privileged to acquaint themselves with the latest developments in Africa’s tourism.
2. Corporate Delegates: This group was particularly made up of individual emerging travel agents, hoteliers and managers of other sectors within the industry. They formed the target group of the workshop session for two days. The workshops were centered on measures to improve on travel and tourist service delivery.
3. Exhibitors: These were mainly tourist service providing brands across the sectors including aviation, hospitality, destination managers, and the Academia and travel media. They showcased their unique brands at the exhibition halls and were involved with business networking meetings.
Afro Tourism Expo 2014 was supported by organizations, travel brands and tourism facilitating firms, namely, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment; National Council for Arts and Culture; Kenya Airways; Galaxy Backbone Plc, Travel Start Web Logistics; Amadeus Nigeria; Sheraton Hotels Abuja, NigeriaTravelDigest and a host of others that participated in this year’s edition. Some highlights of the event include:
1. A speech by the Nigerian Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom centered on "Nigerian Government policies and incentives at encouraging investment in Nigeria tourism sectors".
2. A two-day workshop on "Africa tourism development from the South African perspective" by Ms. Maud Masiyiwa, a seasoned tourism consultant from South Africa.
3. A presentation on "Tourism Development and Investment opportunities in Nigeria" by Mr. Abiodun Odunsanwo (Growth and Employment (GEM) project, a world bank/DFID Funded project)
4. A presentation on ''The Potentials of African Arts and Culture" by Mrs. C.J Abara (Director, Arts and Craft: National Council for Arts and Culture).
5. A presentation on "African Best Practice in Hotel Management" by Mr. Dennis Orjime (Business Development Manager: Nanet Hotels Limited).
6. Exhibitions by various travel service providing companies in the industry including Kenya Airways, Sheraton Hotels Abuja, Travel Start Web Logistics, Galaxy Backbone, Amadeus Nigeria and a host of others.
7. Afro Tourism Expo 2014 awards given to the following individual and organizations:
a. "Tourism Man of the Year 2014": Dr. Samuel Ortom (the Nigerian honorable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment).
b. "The Best Travel Brand 2014": Travel Start Web Logistics
c. "Best African Airline of the Year 2014": Kenya Airways
Afro Tourism Expo 2014 is indeed a success story that is positioning itself to present a more exciting and business-friendly edition come 2015. It is therefore a call for Africa tourism industries stakeholders, national and international tourism boards, local travel agents, airline operators, hoteliers and hospitality managers to key into this novel initiative targeted at placing the continent’s tourism potentials in its rightful place amongst the community of nations.
Afro Tourism Expo event is the brain child of Destination Marketing Extra Limited, a Nigerian destination management company also called DMX, in partnership with tourism firms in South Africa. Organizers of Afro Tourism Expo™ have made, and are still making sacrifices for the event to be a catalyst for Nigeria’s domestic tourism development. Mr. Joesef Karim, the event Founder, is a passionate tourism consultant, an avid wholesale tour operator, and a leading Africa Destination Marketing expert. He has over a decade experience operating in Africa destinations, including Kenya and South Africa. He had authored a Nigeria-oriented tourism book titled, “Travel and Tour Operations in Nigeria”. The book is currently been used by some universities and polytechnics in Nigeria. He also runs an online travel magazine called, ‘NigeriaTravelDigest’. Joesef was the lead consultant for the National Tourism Photo Competition - a project approved by the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture in 2012. Joesef Karim is presently the Secretary of the Advertising Practitioners Association Abuja Chapter (APAAC).