Angola: First Specialised Fair Marked National Tourism in 2012

Luanda — The holding of the International Tourism Exchange of Angola (BITUR), the first ever in the history of the country, is among the Government major deeds in 2012, directed to this segment of the national economy.

Jointly organised by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and the Luanda International Fair (FIL), the event was honoured by the particpation of 80 exhibitors representing various countries, with stress to Angola (host), South Africa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Portugal and Brasil.

The fair, held from October 11-14 in Luanda, involving operators of the 18 provinces of Angola aimed to exchange experience, business partnerships, dissemination of cultural, historical, natural and gastronomic landscape of Angola and its mineral wealth, as well as attracting investment to the country and to foster discussions on the strategies for the development and professionalisation of the sector.

And in order to instill competitiveness among participants, the organisation decided to award at the end of each edition, prizes to exhibitors that stood out, whether to the companies/ institutions or personalities in the nine distinct categories, with trips abroad and of Angola monetary values.

So the event awarded the Best Overall Participation, Best Travel Agency Participation and Airlines, Best Hospitality Representation, Best Provincial Participation, Best International Participation, Involvement of Best Tour Operator and Service Provider, Best Food Participation, Best Kitchen and Personality of the Year .

Despite being one single edition, the promoters decided to change name, so that this year, 2013, instead of BITUR, the second edition will be called "kavango International Fair of Tourism of Angola," as a way of promoting the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontie  Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) in which the country is involved.

The information was released by the chairman of FIL Board, Matos Cardoso, in the presence of the minister of Hotels and Tourism, Pedro Mutindi, during the gala of closing of the first edition of the exhibition, which had the highest point with the visit of the First Lady of the Republic, Ana Paula dos Santos.

Also in 2012, along with the Kavango-Zambezi project, the event included four other neighbouring countries, namely Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. It was held in Angola's southeastern Kuando Kubango province and host the minister Pedro Mutindi.

Another relevant milestone in the sector in question was the participation in June, of an Angolan ministerial delegation at the 53rd meeting of the Committee on World Tourism Organisation for Africa, in the Cross River State, in Calabar, Nigeria. The event annually brings together various actors in the tourism public and private sector.

This Commission for Africa (WTO / CAF) meeting aimed at the election of Africa's representative on the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation for the period of 2012-2015. On the fringes, a regional seminar on "Responsible Tourism: opportunity for women and youth" was held.

Earlier on, in March (7-12), Angola first participated at the International Tourism Fair in Berlin, Germany, with a delegation led by the deputy minister of Tourism, Paulino Baptista, and included tourism agents, cultural groups, and other stakeholders in the sector.

The event is considered the largest in the world in this aspect and aims to promote the tourist potential of various regions of the world and do business in the branch. Besides the Berlin Fair, the country attended the INDABA, one of Africa's largest tourism fairs and marketing, held in May, in Durban (South Africa).

Also in 2012, under the programme of the Tourism Ministry to maximise the potential of its staff, tour operators and infrastructure of the sector, southwestern Namibe province held the t First Forum on Tourism Development. The work was supported by the provincial Government, and was within the traditional annual "Festas do Mar" in the region.

During the above event, the participants touched on topics such as "The tourist potential of Namibe province", "economic vision of tourism", " Yona National Park development plan ", "The importance of travel agencies for the promotion and dissemination of tourism in Angola" and "National tourism master plan for Angola. "

Last year, the hotel and tourist sector was also marked by the high number of jobs generated, totalling 7,927 for nationals across the country, primarily as a result of the increase in hotels and similar facilities and rooms.

Over the last twelve months, Angola reached 8,278 rooms, corresponding to 11, 264 beds, around the 18 provinces of the country. Among the units that became operational in 2012 stress goes to Joint Tourist "Pululukwa" in Lubango (Huila), April 04 and Aparthotel Tropicana in Luanda.

Meanwhile, in Huambo, during the year 2012 116 tourist attractions were indentified in 11 municipalities of the province as a result of a survey conducted by the Provincial Department of Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism, to prepare the master plan site.

Regarding the matter, and the Ilha dos Amores and the Mupa Falls deserved.

Given that tourism is an integrated activity, which is complemented by other sectors of service, the Ministry of Transport in its various branches - road, air, rail and maritime transport and related infrastructures, have significantly contributed to its development.

Worth mentioning is also the emergence of the catering company LSG Sky Chefs TAAG Angola to improve hotel services aboard planes, located in the perimeter of the Luanda "4 de Fevereiro" International Airport.

The achievements of the Ministry of Transport are necessary to improve and reassure the movement of people and goods, as well as boost domestic tourism.

The training was also another of the activities in which the Minhotur (acronym of the ministry responsible for tourism in the country) invested hard to achieve the goals set by the Executive with a focus on creation of one million jobs in activities related to tourism sector by 2015.

In this chapter, highlight goes to the course of "Destination Management" aimed at over 60 staff in the industry, especially directors of tourism centres of Kalandula, Kavango and Cabo Ledo, provincial directors, heads of department and 49 assistants.

This formative action, like other promoted throughout the sector in 2012, was driven primarily by a partnership between the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development .

According to minister Pedro Mutindi, during the ceremony of year-end greetings, held on 26 December, "the year 2012 was special for the industry, because we were able to implement structural measures, which form the basis and pillars for the development and growth of the hotel business and tourism in Angola. "

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