The VA TourismPodcast
A Conversation with Winner of 2020 Africa Tourism Innovation Challenge Alin Murekatete

A Conversation with Winner of 2020 Africa Tourism Innovation Challenge Alin Murekatete

November 3, 2020

In this episode, Founder of Spree Rwanda and winner of the 2020 Tourism Innovation Challenge at Africa Tourism Leadership Forum Alin Murekatete discusses her motivation for the project and why she thinks now is the time to use technology to make tourism sustainable for destinations.

Up and Close with CEO of Rwanda Convention Bureau Nelly Mukazayire

Up and Close with CEO of Rwanda Convention Bureau Nelly Mukazayire

October 29, 2020

Today’s episode is a conversation with the CEO of the Rwanda Convention Bureau Nelly Mukazayire. She gives a vivid account of the measures taken by the Rwandan Government to safely reopen the economy as well as the Bureau’s plans to consolidate its place as a MICE Powerhouse. Nelly is is a lover of sports and music.

Nelly Mukazayire is the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Convention Bureau, a private company established to market Rwanda as a preferred destination for MICE tourism (Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Events) and to ensure coordination and efficient execution of all international events happening in Rwanda.

Prior to that, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the President of Rwanda. She served as a Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and before that, she was a policy researcher in the economics department in the Prime Minister’s Office. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from the University of Rwanda, where she was the recipient of the best performer award in economics, and a Master’s in Economic Policy Management, from the University of Makerere. 

Nelly is a motivational speaker who believes that Africans have a duty to transform their nations, change the narrative about their continent and lead it to prosperity. She speaks in different high-level forums especially youth conferences where she shares her journey of surmounting overwhelming personal circumstances, as well as her unique experience as a young leader in a new Rwanda, with the aim of motivating a new generation of Africans to be active leaders today. She was invited by the UNSG to speak at the UN headquarters about her journey as a young leader in the new Rwanda Nelly and her husband, Gapita Martin Fabrice are the proud parents of two children.

En exclusivité avec Arlette Soudan-Nonault

En exclusivité avec Arlette Soudan-Nonault

October 14, 2020

L’épisode d’aujourd’hui est le premier de notre série d’entretiens en français et notre  présentateur invité Franck Olivier Kra échangera avec Madame Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Ministre du Tourisme et de l’Environnement de la République du Congo. Elle nous fait le point sur la relance du tourisme dans ce pays d’Afrique centrale  et donne son avis sur l’approche de l’OMT pour réactiver le tourisme en pleine pandémie du coronavirus

Part 2 Conversation with Finalists of UNWTO Inspiration Brand Africa Challenge

Part 2 Conversation with Finalists of UNWTO Inspiration Brand Africa Challenge

October 11, 2020

This episode is the final leg of my conversation with finalists of the UNWTO Inspiration Brand Africa challenge. Naledi Khabo of US-based Africa Tourism Association and Tryia Govender the lead for The Creative Collective of South Africa and Kenya.  The duo is excited to be part of the challenge and are willing to share their expertise with Africa’s tourism stakeholders as the continent work towards the Africa renaissance agenda.   The Inspiration Africa Branding challenge is an initiative of the World Tourism Organization in collaboration with CNN International to help reshape the perception of travellers to the African continent. Below is the link to their profiles Africa Tourism Association Creative Collective 

Part 1 Conversation with Finalists of UNWTO Inspiration Brand Africa Challenge

Part 1 Conversation with Finalists of UNWTO Inspiration Brand Africa Challenge

October 11, 2020

My conversation today is with six of the finalists for UNWTO’s Inspiration Brand Africa challenge. They are Art Lebedev Studio of Russia, Big Ambitions from South Africa, Oscar Abuko- Kenya, ATREVIA-Spain, Rainmaker- Namibia and the UK based Mirabelle Communications. They tell me about their inspiration to participate in the challenge and the experience acquired to move on beyond this project. The Inspiration Africa Branding challenge is an initiative of the World Tourism Organization in collaboration with CNN International to help reshape the perception of travellers to the African continent. See below link to  their profiles 

Art Lebedev Studio Big Ambitions Freelance (Oscar Abuko) ATREVIA Rainmaker Mirabelle Communications LTD

The Changing Narrative of Travel Journalists in the New Normal

The Changing Narrative of Travel Journalists in the New Normal

October 5, 2020

As the world celebrates the world tourism day today 27th September, Nigerian Travel Journalist Obinna Emelike of Business Day Newspaper and Jeannette Ceja a US Travel reporter and anchor of Jetsett with Jeannette looks at how travel journalists can contribute to making tourism a social force for good. 

Jeannette is a bilingual Travel Journalist, TV Host, Travel Advisor, and a Global Public Speaker. Her work has appeared on ABC7 Los Angeles, FOX 11 Los Angeles, Mexico Travel Channel, KUSI News, and many more media outlets around the world. This year, Jeannette was a speaker at The Women Economic Forum in Cairo, Egypt. While in Cairo, she received the award: Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All.

Last year, she was awarded as one of the top 20 Global Women of Excellence by U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis and the Multi-Ethnic Advisory Task Force. Jeannette was also one of the nominees for Best Travel Creator at The Tecla Awards - part of the 10th annual Hispanicize conference - honoring Latinx contributions to media. This year, she partnered with Visit Pasadena as the tourism board's official bilingual spokesperson on National Plan For Vacation Day.

In 2018, Jeannette was the Official Travel Host for The World Woman Summit at the Clinton Presidential Center. Where she was recognized as Travel Host of the Year. The same year, Jeannette was named a Power Player by  Angeleno Magazine. A respected Speaker, Jeannette has spoken at travel conferences all over the world including The Women Economic Forum Mexico City, The Women in Travel Summit, The New York Travel Festival,  Tourism in Romania Conference, Impact Travel Immersion Conference, Epic  Mastermind Conference, Travel Talks and the Travel Unity- Economic  Development through Diversity Summit.

EMELIKE OBINNA is an award-winning journalist with over 10 years of experience. He majors in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality, which he reports with passion. Apart from heading the Travel and Tourism Desk, the Assistant Editor at BusinessDay, scouts visitors for top destinations and he does flight checks for some airlines. He was a member of the Naija Seven Wonders expedition in 2014, a South African Specialist, and a recipient of the Tourism Reporting Seal of Honour by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). He won the Culture Category, CNN/Multichoice African Journalists Awards 2014, among other awards.

Making Heritage and Culture inherent Part of Tourism - A Conversation with Chris Flynn

Making Heritage and Culture inherent Part of Tourism - A Conversation with Chris Flynn

October 2, 2020

In this episode, my guest Chris Flynn, President & CEO of the World Tourism Association for Culture & Heritage discusses in detail the impacts of covid19 on the culture and heritage sectors and advises destinations to make them core pillars as tourism restarts. Chris' position requires liaison at the most senior levels of Industry, Government and Academia.

With 36 years of experience in international tourism working in a wide range of countries across four continents, Chris has an intimate knowledge of the industry and the requirements needed to identify critical trends that have the potential to influence future tourism development and expansion. Recognised as a leading specialist in terms of innovation and strategy, Chris is often requested to speak at high profile conferences and events and provides insights to leading news media channels such as BBC World News Asia Business Report, which boasts a live global audience in excess of 300m

His expertise is also sought by leading Australian and International Universities and Faculties. Educating our future industry leaders is one of Chris’s passions.

Ghana aims at becoming West Africa’s Preferred Tourist Destination- Divine Owusu Ansah opens up on Tourism Development Project

Ghana aims at becoming West Africa’s Preferred Tourist Destination- Divine Owusu Ansah opens up on Tourism Development Project

October 1, 2020

In this episode, the Project Director of Ghana’s Tourism Development Project Divine Owusu Ansah delves deeper into the aims and aspirations of the World Bank Facility project which is expected to be the game-changer.

VA Tourism News Wrap19

VA Tourism News Wrap19

September 26, 2020

The VA #TourismNewsWrap19 is a 360 roundup of the latest news in the Travel and Tourism sector. It sums up what you missed the previous week. The video captures, in brief, the major stories. Headline -World Tourism Day 2020: Global Community unites to celebrate Tourism and Rural Development // M-NET Showcases the Immense Beauty of Limpopo in Legacy Series //IFEMA unveils FITUR MICE for next year’s Expo// Seychelles Tourism Board rolls out '' Our Home, your Sanctuary'' Digital Campaign

Building Back Tourism in South Africa’s Limpopo Province - Nomasonto Ndlovu  Bares it all

Building Back Tourism in South Africa’s Limpopo Province - Nomasonto Ndlovu Bares it all

September 24, 2020

In this episode, my guest Nomasonto Ndlovu CEO of the Limpopo Tourism Agency and astute marketer discusses the strategies deployed by the Tourism Agency to restart Tourism in South Africa’s northernmost province.

Nomasonto Ndlovu does not only have a passion for brands, but also the special touch of turning them into household names. With more than ten years of classical brand marketing experience gained within the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, specifically at Unilever South Africa, she has already worked on various local and global brands in various positions over the years.

She became the Global Manager: Business Tourism at South African Tourism (SAT) for three years, where she was responsible for marketing South Africa as a premier business tourism destination globally. Here, she led and contributed to growing Meetings Africa, a marketing platform to showcase South Africa as a business tourism destination

She has also held the position of Head: Brand Marketing, Sponsorships and Events at Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking Division (CIB), where she was responsible for strategic marketing and profiling of various CIB products as well as utilising events strategically to achieve organisation’s objectives.She was Strategic Executive Director for Communications, Marketing & Events Department at the City of Tshwane. Nomasonto is also the former Chairman for the South African Golf Tourism Association.

She is a full-time mother of two enthusiastic boys (11 and 8), keen golfer and enjoys reading and traveling (particularly in Africa).

Breaking down the Year of Return Numbers and Delving into  Beyond the Return Project- A Conversation with Akwasi Agyeman

Breaking down the Year of Return Numbers and Delving into Beyond the Return Project- A Conversation with Akwasi Agyeman

September 22, 2020

In this episode, my Guest, one of the main architects of the hugely successful Year of Return, Ghana 2019 campaign Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority continues his pivotal role as the Coordinator of the Beyond the return initiative, a 10-year ambitious plan pivoted on 7 pillars gives an overview of last year’s event, and delves into the inspiration for the new project. 

Akwasi Agyeman, is the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, the lead Public Service Agency in charge of regulating tourism in Ghana through marketing and promotion, licensing and classification of tourism facilities and services, investments, research and development. Prior to his appointment in January 2017, he was a shareholding partner of Global Media Alliance, a Media Consultancy and broadcasting company. As the Managing Director of its broadcasting operations, he was in charge of one TV Station and four radio stations. Until recently, he was the President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA). He holds an MBA in Marketing and Information Systems from Tulane University in Louisiana (2003), USA – an MBA Merit Scholarship Recipient. He also holds a Bachelors's degree in Social Sciences (1993) and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA -1996) from the University of Ghana.

He has over 15 years’ experience in Project Management, Crisis Communications, PR and Media Relations, Banking, and Relationship Management across Africa and has worked in senior-level capacities with Ecobank, Merchant Bank, Stanbic Bank in South Africa. Prior to joining GMA as a founding partner in Ghana, Akwasi was a Business Analyst for Entergy Inc. in New Orleans, USA.

Akwasi was recently awarded at the Radio and TV Personality awards for his outstanding contribution to Media Excellence in Ghana. He is a devout Christian and a devoted family man with three children.

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