ATALogoOn Thursday, September 27th, 2012, global and African tourism leaders will gather at New York University to participate in the Africa Travel Association’s Seventh Annual Presidential Forum on Tourism. The event will be hosted by NYU Africa House as world leaders gather in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly meetings. With global tourism continuing to expand and diversify at a fast growing pace, and Africa’s tourism growth increasing steadily, ATA’s highest profile event in the United States will focus on the benefits of tourism, particularly in relation to the economy, environment and people.

WHAT: ATA Seventh Annual Presidential Forum on Tourism.

 WHO: High level leaders on tourism from across Africa and around the world.

 WHEN: Thursday, September 27th, 2012, beginning at 10:00 am. Doors open and registration begins at 9:30 am.

WHERE: Kimmel Center for University Life, New York University , 60 Washington Square South (between LaGuardia Place & Thompson Street ), New York , NY , 10012 .

WHY: ATA, the world’s premier travel industry trade association promoting tourism to and across Africa , launched the Forum in 2006 to bring together heads of state or their representatives, to speak about how tourism contributes to a country’s economic growth, prosperity and stability. Since then, 15 African countries have participated in the event, attracting over 1400 participants. In 2011, ATA welcomed representatives from Chad , Egypt , The Gambia, Rwanda and Tanzania , and the African Union, alongside the United Nations World Tourism Organization, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and Atta, along with nearly 200 g! uests, including representatives from the travel and tourism industry, the diplomatic community, NYU, the non-profit sector, and the media.  

Interview and photo opportunities available upon request. Media registration is now open. Media wishing to attend the event must apply for media accreditation. To receive a form, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

seychelles_ocean_thumb307_The Seychelles Tourism Board has officially signed as the host for the 7th Routes Africa event which will take place 8-10 July 2012 in the Seychelles capital Victoria. The Tourism Board will work in partnership with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority to deliver this key aviation industry event.

Routes Africa will bring together route development professionals from across Africa, the Middle East and beyond to discuss the latest developments within the region and establish potential for new air traffic routes to, from and within Africa. This annual event is the only network development forum for the entire African region and, this year, will build on the successes of previous events.

Katie Bland, Routes’ Future Hosts Director stated; “We are delighted to announce the Seychelles as the host of Routes Africa 2012. The Seychelles team’s passion, professionalism and commitment to air service development combined with the suite of excellent facilities available in the Seychelles and the stunning backdrop convinced us that they were the right choice for this year’s event. We anticipate more than 150 delegates to attend the event including up to 30 airline network planners. ”

The Seychelles Tourism Board and the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority have confirmed that they are proud to have been successful in bringing Routes Africa 2012 to Seychelles and to the Indian Ocean. “This confirms that within the idyllic backdrop, the mid ocean islands of the Seychelles there is more to offer than just a holiday destination. The team at the Tourism Board and the Civil Aviation Authority is fully committed and they are convinced that this highly important conference comes at an opportune time when Seychelles is repositioning itself as being accessible as never before and pushing to establishing new air access opportunities to the destination” said Elsia Grandcourt CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board

 Ten international carriers from a number of international hubs in Africa, Europe and the Middle East provide connections to Seychelles International Airport (SEZ). Continuous growth over the last few years, consistent with the increase in air services, has resulted in almost 250,000 passengers using the airport in 2011. The airport is also a hub for inter-island travel and provides quick and convenient domestic flights, operated by Air Seychelles, throughout the day to Praslin Island.

 Seychelles is currently celebrating 40 years since the first commercial aircraft landed, which also marks the beginning of aviation and tourism development in the Seychelles, and moving forward it plans to develop and grow to become a hub in the Indian Ocean. Hosting Routes Africa in 2012 provides the perfect opportunity to show the region what the Seychelles has to offer as they aim to grow traffic and tourism numbers to their shores.

 About Routes

Routes organizes world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and global Route Development Forums. Each year, there is one global event and one regional event in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and CIS respectively. www.routesonline.com

 Routes was founded in 1995 as part of the Manchester UK‐based ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports. www.asm‐global.com.

 Routes and ASM were acquired by UBM Aviation Worldwide Ltd in August 2010. Routes is a UBM Aviation brand. UBM Aviation specialises in the supply of data and information products, market intelligence, news and events related to the global aviation industry. More information can be found at www.ubmaviation.com.

 Previous Routes Africa events include; Casablanca, Morocco, 5-7 March 2006, hosted by ONDA; Cairo, Egypt, 27-29 March 2007, hosted by Egyptian Holdings Airport Company; Dakar, Senegal, 25-27 May 2008, hosted by Dakar International Airport; Marrakech, Morocco, 7-9 June 2009, hosted by ONDA; Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland, 30 May -1 June 2010 hosted by Sikhuphe International Airport; Bamako, Mali 3-5 July 2011 hosted by Aeroports du Mali.


nine_mile_music_festivalHosted by the Bob Marley Movement, the 19th Annual Nine Mile Music Festival takes place on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at 4020 Virginia Beach Drive (Key Biscayne), Miami, Florida. The line-up includes three of the Marley brothers—Stephen, Damian and Julian—and other well-known artists such as Burning Spear, Capleton, Cocoa Tea, Collie Buddz, Kehv, Kevens, and Tarrus Riley.

The popular event is a tribute to the anniversary of the birth of the great reggae artist Bob Marley. The event is not only a music festival but also “a humanitarian effort to feed the hungry.” Organizers of the event for the past 18 years have asked patrons to help keep the spirit and message of Marley alive by contributing to the food drive.

For more information, see http://bobmarleymovement.com/nine-mile-music-festival-miami-reggae-music/


Shaggy, the Grammy award-winning artist will be one of several top Jamaican acts headlining the bill for the 16th annual 2012 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival set for January 26 to 28, 2012 at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was hailed by the musical superstar as one of the remaining bastions in support of not just reggae music but other musical genres and culture as a whole.  The Jamaican dancehall hit-maker recently spoke frankly to a New York audience about the importance of the 2012 festival in promoting reggae music while others around the world turn the volume down on the Jamaican art form. "In Europe there are only three remaining festivals," he lamented. "At one point there were 15. This is ...something we need to change for ourselves."

Shaggy's appearance at the 2012 festival will be part of a Thursday night tribute to Jamaica's golden anniversary of independence as organizers highlight Jamaica's rich musical sounds over the past 50 years.

Shaggy, affectionately known as "Mr. Bombastic", Richie Stephens and a slate of top Jamaican reggae musicians are expected to deliver some of their classic hits and newer material at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. "I call this the Shaggy festival," he joked, "and I'm really looking forward to once again being part of the event."

Noting the importance of the host destination the star remarked, "There is a cool factor that comes with brand Jamaica - we are a small country but we have an exceptional brand. And that brand comes with this enormous cool factor which we need to market to its fullest."

shaggyShaggy added events such as the Jazz and Blues Festival attract not only music-loving visitors, but also investors to the island. "In so doing, we create revenue and jobs." The international headliner also declared the creation of jobs brought another critical contribution: "when you eliminate poverty, you eliminate crime."

Walter Elmore, chairman of the event producers, Art of Music Productions Ltd., predicted next year's festival will be the biggest event Jamaica has ever seen. "We are extremely happy and proud of the fact that the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival kicks off a year-long series of major events in celebration of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence. "We are promising to deliver an event that will make both the Jazz Festival and the Independence celebrations unforgettable experiences," Elmore stated.

Multi-platinum, five-time Grammy award-winning, Celine Dion, headlines a top talent line-up which brings to the stage Nicole Henry, Jully Black, Earl Klugh, Heads of State, Cee-Lo Green, The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, Destra, and Jamaica's finest musical talent, including Shaggy, Richie Stephens, John Holt, Yellow Man, Half Pint, Tessanne Chin and Tami Chynn, Marcia Griffiths, Lloyd Parkes and We The People, George Nooks, Luciano, Mykal Rose, AJ Brown, Freddy McGregor, Pluto Shervington, Etana, Chris Martin, and Marcia Barrett (Boney M).

 For further information, visit www.jamaicajazzandblues.com.


About Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival "The Art of Music"

Started in 1996 by Air Jamaica, in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board and several other business entities, Walter Elmore took over the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in 2004. It has grown over the years and is now a favourite on the calendar not only of Jamaicans but people from all over the world. Attracting more than 25,000 patrons annually, the event has now been expanded to include the resort regions of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

The Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA) is hosting the 35th Annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America from November 30 to December 2, 2011, at the Louisiana Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. This conference is the premiere trade and policy forum for the countries of the Caribbean Basin.

For over three decades Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA) has been synonymous with the annual "Miami Conference," but in 2011 the conference will move to New Orleans, Louisiana. Recently, the City of New Orleans has been viewed through the lens of disaster, but as everyone from the Caribbean knows, out of disaster comes renewal. The city's business community, long associated with the traditional industries of shipping, tourism and oil, is increasingly being joined by an entrepreneurial class that is leading growth in areas such as green technology, finance, and communications.ccaa

The CCAA Conference, co-hosted by the World Trade Center of New Orleans, in partnership with the Louisiana Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. and other local and national organizations will focus on the important issues of trade, investment, and jobs. New Orleans, a city that has been described as the "northernmost city of the Caribbean" and that is home to a vibrant Central American Diaspora, is the perfect host for the CCAA Conference.

For more information, see http://www.c-caa.org/

Dominica_musicThe stars are aligned for Dominica’s15th annual World Creole Music Festival as thousands of music fans from around the world prepare to celebrate the music, dialect and culture known as Creole. Known for attracting world-renowned musicians from the Creole-speaking world, the highly anticipated annual festival is planned for Oct. 28-30 at Windsor Park Stadium in the capital city of Roseau.

With the theme “Three Nights of Pulsating Rhythms,” the 2011 lineup includes performers from England, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Paris and Dominica.

“This year’s event is the 15th edition, so we wanted to combine the best local musical talent with those who have made a name on the world stage,” said Colin Piper, director of tourism for Dominica. “The depth and breadth of the performers are historic. You will not want to miss the 15th staging of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival. Combine this with the amazingly beautiful and relaxing setting that is Dominica, and you have the perfect getaway and break!”

Attendees will get to experience both Jamaican Creole (which features largely English words superimposed on West African grammar) and Haitian Creole (which features a French vocabulary superimposed on West African grammar.)

jacksonville_carnival_phoca_thumb_l_IMG_0102_Jacksonville, Florida will once again have its Annual Carnival Parade Festival on Saturday, the 17th of September at Metropolitan Park in the downtown area of the city. Even though this event ushers in the fall season, there is still time for the beach and partying in the sun. Those who attend will get to enjoy steel drums, colorful costumes and scrumptious island cuisine during this energetic cultural festival. The revelry kicks off with a spectacular parade at 1:00pm, then sashays into Metropolitan Park for a day full of great music, food, arts, crafts and family fun until 10:00pm. In addition to sampling all kinds of great Caribbean foods, carnival-goers can stroll by vendor booths to enjoy artwork and crafts.  The festival also features a stage show featuring live Caribbean music and cultural performances.

Carnival Organization of Jacksonville, Inc. (COOJI) was founded in 1998 as a carnival costume producing band when it took part in the then Jacksonville Caribe Street Festival and Parade.  The first Jacksonville Carnival "On the Beach" was held in October 2000 at the beautiful Jacksonville Beach Seawalk Pavilion, in the city of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Since changing its location to downtown Jacksonville at Metropolitan Park in 2005, the carnival is now known as Jacksonville Caribbean Mardi Gras Parade & Festival. Each year the carnival has gotten bigger and brighter.

COOJI is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness, understanding, open dialogue and appreciation of Caribbean people and culture.  A mission is to provide education and information on the various Caribbean nations including history and current day-to-day life. COOJI also seeks to provide opportunities for individuals and businesses to develop cross-cultural relationships within these nations.

Caribbean Carnival Week is the Second Week in September in Jacksonville.  Everyone is welcome to attend in this year’s festival. For more information, visit www.JacksonvilleCarnival.com.

Photo: Carnival Organization of Jacksonville, Inc.

nbaf_logo ‘Unexpected Encounters’ is the theme for this year’s festival, so expect the unexpected. NBAF President and CEO Neil Barclay said, “There will be unexpected encounters with the culture, the people and the art of the African Diaspora, as this year's festival goes beyond expectations with extraordinary experiences.”

Centered in downtown and Midtown Atlanta, the NBAF got underway on July 7th and continues through July 17. There will be many performances, programs, dance celebrations, musicals, films and visual art exhibits during the week. The International Marketplace on July 14-17 will feature more than 100 vendors and artists displaying carved-wood sculptures, handmade jewelry, clothing and more in the Centennial Olympic Park area at no charge.

The musical menu of gospel, blues, jazz, world music icludes artists Sandra Hall, Río Negro, Joyce Cândido, Nanny Assis, Orquesta MaCuba, Donnie, Kathleen Bertrand and others. The Pan African Film Festival includes a diverse slate of films from Africa and the African Diaspora. For more information about the line-up of what's going on all week, visit www.NBAF.org/schedule/.


Noted reggae artist Jah Cure among hit list of performers

Jah_CureIf you have been longing to visit Dominica, now is the time! The 14th Annual World Creole Music Festival is set to get underway in the city of Roseau. Jah Cure, one of reggae’s most revered performers will be a headliner for this festival taking place for three days on October 29th through the 31st. A well-established Caribbean and international platform for reggae artist and other musicians, the festival is widely regarded as one of the only truly indigenous music events in the Caribbean. Past festivals have attracted some of the most renowned musical groups and soloists from the Creole-speaking world.

Jah Cure is a popular Jamaican reggae musician whose hits include “King in this Jungle,” “Longing for Love,” and “True Relections.”  Colin Piper, CEO/Director of Discover Dominica Authority expressed extreme pleasure in having Jah Cure set to perform at Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival. “Securing the appearance of such a popular reggae artist as Jah Cure raises awareness for World Creole Music Festival and his unique style of reggae will complement the traditional Creole music which this event celebrates,” said Piper.


Cape Town will host monumental tourism event conferences this fall.

The year 2010 is proving to be the year of golden opportunities for South Africa as a nation. On the heels of hosting  2010 FIFA WORLD CUP, the country is still in the spotlight as it prepares to be a part of the global tourism stage as host to at least two international destination events. South African Tourism chairman Jabu Mabuza has stated that 2010 is a year of immense importance for South Africa.  

In addition to the glory of hosting the World Cup, a very significant part of 2010 World Tourism Day celebrations will be held in South Africa this year. The country will also be the destination where, for the first time in the history of South Africa, over 350 of the world’s travel trade decision makers will be visiting as delegates of the nation’s most important Mega-FAM Trip – The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 2010 International Sales Conference.


African Heritage Week promises unforgettable experiences in tourism.

Well-known for the many exciting opportunities to explore its ecosystem and natural beauty, Costa Rica is also an ideal place for culture tourism. Costa Rica is a beautiful Central American country with breathtaking sceneries, abundant wildlife, stunning beaches, and peaceful national parks.

A multi-ethnic paradise, the richness of Costa Rica has roots in the cultural diversity of its people. In addition to the majority Mestizo population (primarily European descendants), inhabitants also include people of African Chinese, Lebanese and Italian heritage all living among the native people of Costa Rica.

With the African Heritage Festival taking place in August, now is a good time to combine a nature tour with a journey into the vibrant culture of the African descendants who live there. Known as Afro-Costa Ricans, over seventy thousand people or 3 percent of the population are of African descent.  Afro-Costa Ricans have had a great impact on the development of the country into what it is today. 

Stunning Natural Settings and Top African Cinema, Music, and Arts


World class films with an African focus, international music presentations, and stunning natural settings await you at the 13th annual Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) on July 10th-18th in Zanzibar, Tanzania. With the theme “Hopes in Harmony,” ZIFF is the antithesis of a Western-style film festival and is a must-visit for the savvy film and art buffs, where you can also get to immerse yourself in some the country’s culture uniqueness. In no other festival is there such a unique chance to learn about Africa’s cultural past and present in such a relaxed and exotic setting.