The Chairman of the African Tourism Board (ATB), Cuthbert Ncube, was in Addis Ababa on a working visit and met with Mrs. Mahlet Kebede, Head of Ethiopian Airlines ET Holidays. Writes Juergen T Steinmetz

When visiting the Ethiopian Airlines headquarters, Cuthbert Ncube was accommodated by ATB Ambassadors Hiwotie Anberbir and Kazeem Balogun. The two leaders agreed on the importance for Ethiopian Airlines and the African Tourism Board to work together. He said: “The African Tourism Board supports the repositioning and rebranding of Africa within a coordinated approach. It means that we must achieve this with our strategic partners like Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian Airlines is known as the airline with the title ‘Pride of Africa.’ Together we can achieve the dream of our founding fathers of unifying Africa using tourism as a driving tool.”

Having played a critical role in the recently held East African Regional Tourism Expo 2021 in Arusha Tanzania, ATB is poised to ensure tourism recovers soon.

Kebede said: “By 2022, we hope to incorporate your organization in our events calendar in the areas of various tourism activations within the continent.”

“With this partnership, the African Tourism Board and Ethiopian Airlines will be strategically positioned to deliver a robust travel and tourism sector in the post-COVID-19 era. COVID has afforded us to go back to the drawing board on how to incorporate best practices into the scheme of things,” Ncubeadded.

There are many areas of mutual interest. A Memorandum of Understanding should be signed between the two organizations in order to officially launch this partnership between this Star Alliance airline and ATB.

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethiopian Airlines has been working hard to promote regional tourism within Africa more prominently.

The state-owned airline has been a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since 1959 and of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) since 1968.

Ethiopian is a Star Alliance member, having joined in December 2011. The company slogan is The New Spirit of Africa. Ethiopian’s hub and headquarters are at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, from where it serves a network of 125 passenger destinations — 20 of them domestic and 44 freighter destinations.

About the ATB

The African Tourism Board was first established in 2018 by the African Tourism Marketing Group in the United States. ATB is based in the Kingdom of Eswatini. ATB’s goal is to promote Africa as a single prime tourism destination.