The Africa Travel Association will become an operating element under the Corporate Council on Africa, effective immediately. The formal announcement was made at the New York Times Travel Show on January 8, 2016.
Stephen Hayes, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) said, “The addition of the Africa Travel Association (ATA) to our portfolio of activities strengthens both the Africa Travel Association and the Corporate Council on Africa. Tourism is an essential ingredient in growing the economies of Africa. The potential for growth and investment in tourism in nearly every country in Africa is simply huge, regardless of the stage of development.”
The opportunity to combine the two organizations presented itself when long-time ATA Executive Director, Edward Bergman, announced that he would step down from his position at the end of 2015, following the successful ATA 40th Annual World Congress in Nairobi, Kenya this past November. Bergman added “Finding a home for the Africa Travel Association at the Council provides an opportunity for the travel industry within Africa and between the United States and the countries of Africa to reach new heights. The Corporate Council’s focus on investment and development matches the requirements of today and supplements ATA’s existing cultural and historic tourism endeavours throughout Africa. It was hard to imagine a better match for both organizations.”
CCA has been a leading advocate for US-Africa trade and investment since its founding in 1993 through a grant from then Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and the United States Agency for International Development. In the past 23 years, the council has grown to incorporate one hundred and eighty corporations representing approximately eighty-five percent of all US private investment in Africa. CCA focuses on various sectors for investment, including infrastructure, financing, health, energy, power, and agribusiness.
Mr Hayes added, “Our background in working with major corporate players and investors who are looking for new opportunities in Africa is a perfect fit for the historical mission of the ATA for driving tourism growth on the African continent beyond its current global market share of this three percent of international travel.”
ATA will operate in Washington, DC as a division of the Corporate Council on Africa.