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Unlocking Africa’s Tourism Investment: Building Long-Term Sustainability and Resilience

In 2024, South Africa is set to celebrate three decades of freedom and democracy, making it a historic year for the country. As South Africa prepares for its general election and looks towards the future, it is crucial to focus on the development of the tourism sector. Therefore, I consider it significant to highlight in this piece the importance of South Africans taking decisive actions as they cast their vote to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of South Africa’s tourism industry.

While many have accused Africa of talking too much without taking enough action towards economic development, it is crucial to acknowledge the significance of careful deliberation. By carefully considering the actions to be taken, it is by so doing that Africa can achieve optimum results that will drive economic growth and development.

Despite the challenges posed by raging storms and gusty winds, the second edition of the Tourism Investments Forum Africa (TIFA) was successfully held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 10th to the 12th of April 2024. TIFA serves as a platform for promoting tourism and related sectors’ investment and trade opportunities within African countries and the rest of the world.

TIFA’s Objectives and Impact:

TIFA operates on the philosophy of “a global platform for local action,” aiming to position host locations and other African destinations as attractive investment and tourism destinations. By providing access to capital, networks, and exchange of insights, TIFA supports the development of start-ups and the growth of emerging and established businesses in the tourism sector. Additionally, TIFA aims to facilitate investment in sectors that directly and indirectly impact the business travel and tourism economy of the host and participating destinations.

Highlights of TIFA 2024:

As expected, Wednesday, April 10th, was the day of welcomes for TIFA 2024, which was hosted by Victor Kgomoeswana – Author of “Africa, and is Open for Business.” Miller Matola – CEO of Millvest Advisory, South Africa, formally kicked off TIFA 2024 with his opening address. Following him were Papy Luzala – Head of Commercial & Government Affairs for Africa, RX Africa, Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, City of Cape Town, and MEC. Mireille Wenger – Provincial Minister of Finance & Economic Opportunities, Western Cape, South Africa.

As the guest speaker, Dr Geoffrey Manyara – Economic Affairs Officer: Tourism, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Rwanda, spoke on ‘Tourism Demand Dynamics and Opportunities in Africa.’ The Honourable Deputy Minister of Tourism for South Africa delivered the keynote address at the opening, speaking on supporting ‘international investment in the tourism sector through complementary domestic public sector investments – A Transformative Approach to Tourism Investment.’

During the second day of TIFA, participants explored important topics such as Technology and Innovation, Hospitality Ventures, Climate Smart Investments, Access and Mobility, and Financing and Investment Opportunities. These discussions aimed to identify new investment frontiers, address traveller imperatives, mitigate climate change, build trade and investment bridges, and promote capacity building and training in the tourism sector.

On-site Inspections and Winelands Airport:

On the final day of TIFA 2024, participants had the opportunity to visit various locations for on-site inspections. One particularly captivating place was the Winelands Airport, where the slogan “The Airport leaves the City, the City follows the Airport, and the Airport becomes the City” caught the attention of attendees. This statement holds profound implications for investors and governments across Africa, urging them to consider the transformative potential of airports in driving economic growth and development.


Africa’s tourism sector has tremendous potential for growth and development. By taking decisive actions and investing in sustainable and resilient tourism practices, Africa can unlock its tourism investment and contribute to the economic development of the continent. TIFA serves as a crucial platform for promoting investment and trade opportunities, facilitating collaboration, and driving innovation in the tourism sector. Let us seize the opportunities presented by TIFA and work towards building a prosperous and sustainable future for Africa’s tourism industry.

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