Ghana Story
The New Ghana
Special Projects
Radio Interview
Photo Gallery
Yearbook Memories
Tour Operators Union
ATA Congress Flashback

New Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi

Ghana Story- Introduction
Photos 1 - Cape Coast Castles
Photos 2 - Kente Weavers
Photos 3 - Ceremony
Photos 4 - Roadside Commerce
Photos 5 - Tour Sites
Photos 6 - Ghana Fashion
Photos 7 - Bead Making Art
Photos 8 - Slave River

Photos 1 - Congress Activities
Photos 2 -More Activities
Photos 3 - Gala Events
Photos 4 - ATA Trade Show
Photos 5 - Delegates
Photos 6 - Fashion Show



Hon. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, ATA Past President, accompanied by other ATA officials, opens the trade show at the ATA 31st World Congress in Accra, Ghana. Photo by Muguette Goufrani.

Africa Travel Association (ATA) 31st Annual World Congress in Accra, Ghana, Sets Stage For Full Participation from African Countries and Diaspora 

Accra, Ghana, May 6, 2006. Delegations from sixteen African countries, the USA and Canada, met in this rapidly expanding West African capital for the Africa Travel Association's 31st International Congress, Marketing Conference, Convocation of African Tourism Ministers, Annual General Meeting and Tourism Industry Exposition.  Proceedings were opened May 1, by H.E. Aliu Mahama, Vice President, Republic of Ghana. The conference theme was "Ghana- A Golden Experience, Unique Culture and Unforgettable Adventure."

As a result of this week-long series of events, a dynamic new leadership team was installed, with Hon. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey. Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Ghana, taking over the ATA presidency from Hon. Kabinga J. Pande, Zambia's Minister of Tourism, Environment & Natural Resources; Social Entrepreneurs  Edward J. Bergman as Executive Director and Robert Alsbrooks as Executive Programs Director, taking over from Mira Berman. Details on other new directors and biographies of executive members will be available on the website www.africa-ata.org, along with an update on 26 ATA chapters in Africa and North America. Prior to the congress, Deputy Minister  Hon. Stephan Asmoah Boateng and a Ghana tourism team visited ATA USA Chapter to set the stage. The membership was unanimous in its many tributes to outgoing Executive Director, Mira Berman who created key building blocks through partnerships that form the foundation of the association's global reach. 

Focus on Global Tourism Markets

A major marketing effort targeting the African Diaspora communities in the USA, Canada, The Caribbean, Central and South America through expanded relations and partnerships, is high on the association's new agenda. This initiative is in accord with the "Joseph Project," expressed by the theme "Coming Back to the Homeland."  Details of the project, initiated by the Republic of Ghana, were presented as part of the main agenda. Another ATA objective in marketing and communications is expanding on Africa's ties to Asia Pacific Countries, based on the foundation laid in Thailand at the IIPT Conference. This ATA-PATA partnership earned an award at the 2005 World Travel Market in the UK.  Other important steps recommended by Mr. Bergman as the new ATA Executive Director, are:

• Seeking 100 percent African country membership.

• Packaging sponsorships as multi-year commitments for bundled benefits.

• Developing new partnerships in untapped areas, such as aircraft manufacturers, insurance companies and travel publications.

• Seeking diverse sponsorships for African tourism publications and materials.

• Collaboration with ATA website developer to increase revenue generation through advertising and develop additional website links for member chapters and countries.

• Promoting the Annual Africa Tourism Yearbook.

• Providing position papers and training for Ministries of Tourism to access greater tourism resources and facilitate such introductions.

• Supporting the AU Alliance - voice/ advisors to AU for tourism development.

• Enhancing Africa's links to Asian tourism market, specifically China and India.

• Creating an ATA Foundation for education and social responsibility.

• Creating a New York ATA Forum in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

• Providing new member benefits such as health and liability insurance, office equipment and supplies.

• Producing an Annual Report and Membership Directory.


Full Slate of Travel - Tourism Topics

Congress events were held at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel plus two government conference centers in Accra. The popular annual session, "Doing business together," provided an opportunity for African and North American tour operators, organizers and ground operators to share ideas and objectives.

• Open Skies and African Tourism Challenges, a panel session chaired by Hon. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey. Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Ghana, involved presentations by key persons from Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, Uganda and others.  Christian Folly-Kossi, Secretary General of the Africa Airline Association {AFRAA) provided a comprehensive outline of the current situation and identified future opportunities in this key area. One comment by Mr. Folly-Kossi which sized up the prevailing attitude was; "We do not fully realize in Africa the macro-economic potentials of the tourism industry."

• The African Diaspora was another hot topic with presentations on the Bermuda Triangle and African Diaspora Heritage Trail by Dr. Gaynelle Henderson-Bailey and the "Joseph Project," a main focus of Ghana's 50th Anniversary Celebrations and Homecoming in 2007.

• Other topics included the Bridal and Honeymoon Markets, the Mature Traveler (Seniors),

Ecotourism Symposium Review, Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, Tourism Potential of Ghana's Coastal Wetlands, Decentralizing Tourism Policies (Moroccan experience), Touring Ghana &endash; Operators' Perceptions and Mobilizing External Resources for Tourism Development.

Future ATA Host Countries in Africa

The revised Calendar of Events includes the ATA 11th Cultural and Ecotourism Symposium in Abuja, Nigeria (November 2006), the ATA-IIPT 4th African Conference on Peace Through Tourism in Kampala, Uganda (April 2007), and the ATA 32nd World Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (May 2007).  North American Airlines, which flies between New York's JFK Airport  and Accra, was official carrier for the 2006 congress, however many ATA delegates arrived via other airlines.

A Taste of Ghana's Culture and Hospitality

Host Country Day highlights included a motor trip to the Cape Coast area, with escorted tours of the Cape Coast Slave Castle, and a durbar ceremony on the grounds of the historic Elmina Castle, followed by luncheon on the Coconut Grove Resort. For several years, the Tourism Ministry featured "Modernization of the Capital City," and ATA delegates who have visited Ghana previously were able to confirm the work in progress that is transforming Accra and surrounding areas, with major road building and construction projects underway. Media delegates from North America had an opportunity to attend the Aboakyer Hunting Ceremony at Winneba on the Cape Coast Highway, featuring local chiefs in their gilded regalia.

ATA's Global Positioning

The Africa Travel Association (ATA) is the only international organization promoting tourism to Africa and its strength is reflected in its membership, the strong public and private sector partnership on the International Board as well as Ministers of Tourism, Airlines, Hoteliers, Tour Operators and Travel Agents.  ATA has chapters throughout Africa and North America; is a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), WTO (World Tourism Organization), an industry partner with ARTA (Association of Retail Travel Agents), a founding member of the Coalition of Partners for IIPT, International Institute for Peace through Tourism; and a Green Globe member. ATA organizes an annual congress and international marketing conference in Africa; an annual symposium on environmental and cultural preservation; and publishes the Africa Travel Magazine and web site www.africa-ata.org.

For further information e-mail africatravelasso@aol.com

Phone 212 447 1926. Fax 212-725-8253.

Karen Hoffman

Sr. Vice President

The Bradford Group

347 Fifth Ave. Suite 610

New York, New York 10016

Tel: (212) 447-0027

Fax: (212) 725-8253

direct email: Karentravel@aol.com

or Bradfordmktg@aol.com

<ATA Press Release May 16 2006 ATA Appoints Executive Director.doc>