The African Diaspora Tourism Conference presents a platform to discuss, initiate, dialogue and celebrate a new relationship and how to sustain these new vistas.
However, the recognition of Africa as a beacon of hope for African people living on the continent and in the diaspora to explore, relate and live using the African Diaspora Tourism Conference as the African platform for the foundation of this long-lasting relationship is the soul of this year’s travel business. Future generations will remember that the improvement was earned not by coincidence but by conscious efforts to validate the struggles, strengths, and linkages between African descendants on a Pan-African scale.
The African diaspora and Africa have the same unique culture, rich heritage and beautiful destinations for tourism and trade, therefore, there is a need to connect and combine these wonderful cultures and population as an emerging market for mutual benefit.
The Caribbean Tourism Organisation exhibited at this year’s expo and also hosted the Caribbean Panel discussion on “African Heritage of the Caribbean… Connecting the Dots”. During the session, Dr Kerry Hall, Director of Tourism Product Development, in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Barbados, delivered the keynote address.
His Excellency Wendell De Landro, High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, discussed how the Africa Caribbean Heritage has influenced diaspora and international tourism in Trinidad and Tobago, and the impact that this has had on establishing Trinidad Carnival as one of the most renowned carnivals in the world.
His Excellency Esmond Reid, High Commissioner of Jamaica to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, addressed how Jamaica’s music and heritage have been strongly influenced by Africa and the Rastafarian movement. These influences have enriched Jamaica’s position as a leading destination for travellers seeking an authentic cultural experience.
Fabien Anthony, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Pan-African Council, addressed the Caribbean roots of Pan-Africanism, including opportunities to foster connections and strategic partnerships between Africa and its diaspora in the Caribbean and North America that will lead to impactful opportunities for youth and communities. Anthony, also promoted diaspora tourism as a lever for education, cultural exchange, community leadership and economic opportunities.
Also, Sharon Palacio, Chairperson from In2Belize Travel and Tours and leading Garifuna Specialist from Belize, will discuss the African Heritage of the Garifuna people, enslaved West Africans, who washed ashore on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent around 1635 while likely on their way to the mines and plantations in the Americas.
Carol Hay, Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s Director of Marketing (UK & Europe) and moderator for the session stated: “We welcome the opportunity to participate in Akwaaba Travel Market with such a dynamic panel of speakers. The theme for the travel market, ‘The Year of the Return’, commemorates 400 years since the first Africans were enslaved, taken from their homeland and brought to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas.
We have a vibrant story to tell; a rich heritage to share, and really see this as an opportunity to connect the dots on all levels, including the opportunity to promote tourism and trade between Africa and the Caribbean”