FOUR MINUTES TO CHANGE THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN TRAVEL - We Are Africa

WE ARE AFRICA POSTPONED TO 17-20 May 2021

FOUR MINUTES TO CHANGE THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN TRAVEL

9 -min. read

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve ever done in under four minutes?

At FUSE, We Are Africa’s first un-conference, in partnership with Wilderness Safaris and hosted at Grand Café & Beach, 10 speakers took to the stage to present a SPARK, a.k.a. a big idea they think will change the future of African travel. But there was a catch: they had just 15 slides and only 15 seconds per slide in which to do it.

Whether you missed the chance to be there or just want to be inspired all over again, we caught up with all our SPARK speakers to find out why the We Are Africa tribe should care about what they have to say…

And with the second instalment of FUSE taking place at We Are Africa’s fifth edition (14-17 May 2018), now’s a good time to start thinking of your own SPARK! Want to get involved? Applications open 4 July.


JAMES FERNIE, UTHANDO (LOVE) SOUTH AFRICA

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

Linking tourism and community development, creating powerful ripples of hope and opportunity.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

Because the tourism industry can be that shining light of inspiration and change.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

Embrace and adopt a community development project.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • The inspiration behind creating a unique link between tourism and development
  • Abalimi bezkhaya ‘farmers of home’ changing thousands of lives through urban agriculture
  • High-end tourism companies embracing responsible tourism
  • Now is the time for genuinely authentic and meaningful interactions and experiences for tourists
  • Realise your power to help change the world

Juma Mkwela, Township Art Tours

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

Ecotourism is the future of tourism, and it would have an great impact on the development of ecotourism if high-end African travel and hospitality extended their influence.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

The We Are Africa tribe should care because ecotourism is beneficial for everyone involved. Giving back to the community you are sharing with tourists is very important in creating a positive and productive environment.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

To begin thinking about unique and innovative ways of doing high-end travel in Africa that is in-line with an Ubuntu philosophy.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • Local artist Lwando’s amazing artwork that featured in murals around Cape Town
  • Lwando’s work, however, is relatively unrecognised; regardless of this, his work contributes to the community, creating a significant impact
  • I will be working with him to create more murals and artwork that could potentially be for sale
  • Together with Lwando, we will create workshops with other young and upcoming artists to inspire them
  • Creating art has had a postive impact on Lwando and I believe if we can get the youth to identify with him, we can inspire change

Janice Ashby, The Rhinos Are Coming!!!

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

The bringing together of art, conservation, the travel industry, business-in-general, and passionate conservation individuals to stage spectacular art exhibitions in Southern African cities to raise funds to save various endangered African species.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

The Rhinos Are Coming!!! is a fresh, fun, lighthearted, less grisly approach to raising funds for endangered species that will bring in hundreds-of-thousands more visitors to cities and game lodges, plus will counter rhino burnout within the donor  community.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

To succeed, we need 100 more sponsors over the next seven months, in addition to the eleven top hotels and businesses who funded the making of our first eight rhinos during our crowd funding campaign ending February 2017.

To spread the word and inspire organisations and people to sponsor rhinos. The media loves such programmes – brand awareness benefits are substantial, so it makes business-sense to sponsor and support the programme.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

This programme aims to:

  • Raise funds for species conservation
  • Offer businesses and people from all walks of life an opportunity to contribute to preserving endangered species in an enjoyable, fun, people friendly way
  • Enable artists to showcase their work to audiences of many hundreds-of-thousands outside of their traditional gallery environments
  • Educate children about wildlife conservation and careers in the creative arts through an education programme that has schools painting half-size sculptures for the exhibition
  • Boosts the economies of Cape Town through increased footfall, paid accommodation, broader spending on travel, gifts and refreshments

Iain Harris, Coffeebeans Routes

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

That the future of African travel is urban, creative and it engages the human fabric of the continent.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

Because it’s what their clients are asking for.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

To book a creative experience in the next destination they are headed to, something that engages them with the cultural and creative fabric of that place.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • In the future travel experiences will be interplanetary
  • Interplanetary travel will involve meeting other species of life
  • We struggle to engage meaningfully with other members of our own species
  • So what tools do we have to engage with other life forms in other parts of the galaxy to understand their way of life?
  • We look at some examples of best practice on planet earth and draw some tips on how to successfully engage with cultural and creative interplanetary travel

Randolf Jorberg, Beerhouse

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

Beer is coming back to Africa as craft beer: an ultra premium product in demand by all international globetrotters.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

The History of beer started in Africa and I will show you why it matters to the future of the continent.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

Explore a sample of the local beer variety at Beerhouse!

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • Africa is not only the cradle of humankind, but beer also played a major role in furthering civilisation
  • While water was unsafe to consume, beer was a safe liquid to drink and allowed human survival
  • Today seen as a male drink, beer was primarily produced by woman – something that continues today and is emphasized by the #SheLovesBeer campaign
  • Today craft beer is booming in Southern Africa and Beerhouse is at the forefront of that development

Simon Stobbs, Wilderness Safaris

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

Frontier Eco-tourism is key in terms of helping conserve remote wilderness areas. In order for these areas to be successful and continue to be conserved, all stakeholders in the tourism chain need to play their part.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care? 

Through the scale and reach of the tribe, we can make a difference and create the awareness these areas require so as to ensure they are conserved.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK? 

Create awareness for and promote these Frontier Eco-tourism destinations.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • Frontier Eco-tourism is all about developing tourism in remote, lesser-known destinations
  • The difficulty with this is that as these areas are generally not that well known – it can be a challenge to get people travelling there; this is exacerbated by the fact that these areas are often difficult to access
  • The questions is: whose responsibility is it to try and make this work? Our stance is that we should all have a moral obligation to do so
  • By doing this, we can leverage our scale and create the awareness that is so important to make these areas a success
  • The risk is that if we do not, there is every chance that there areas will no longer be conserved

Matt Turner, Tesla

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

Owners of hotels, resorts and lodges no longer have to rely on noisy, polluting diesel gensets to meet their energy needs – solar, storage and smart microgrid control already provide clean, reliable energy at lower cost.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

With growing pressure on the earth’s resources, travellers want to connect with the destinations they visit and know that their footprint is a small and positive one. Nothing relieves the environmental guilt of a long flight better than knowing that your energy usage at your destination comes from clean, sustainable resources. By including Tesla’s advanced energy storage solutions with your solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, owners of hotels, resorts and lodges can now supply their energy needs without relying on polluting, noisy and inconvenient diesel gensets.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

Come and speak to me about how Tesla’s energy storage products are providing cleaner, smarter and more reliable energy solutions on hotels and resorts around the world.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • 96% of Condé Nast Traveller readers think hotels and resorts should be responsible for protecting the environment they operate in, with 74.5% saying a hotel’s environmental policies influence their decision to stay there
  • Many hotels, resorts and lodges in Africa rely on polluting, noisy and expensive diesel gensets to provide reliable power
  • Integrating solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, advanced battery energy storage systems (BESS) and intelligent microgrid controls makes off-grid energy cleaner, more reliable and less expensive
  • Tesla’s Powerpack System provides modular, scalable energy storage to meet present energy needs while being flexible enough to grow to satisfy future requirements
  • Travellers can now enjoy unique wilderness destinations in peace and quiet, knowing that their environmental impact is vastly reduced

James Delaney, Artist

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

Jo’burg used to be a transit point. Now, with the revitalisation of downtown’s art, food and coffee scene, it’s becoming a destination.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

Because currently your pax are having a dull time sitting in their Jo’burg hotel suites, told not to venture out.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

Look at walking tours of downtown Jo’burg, and increase single night stays to two nights. (It helps pax get over their jet lag, too.)

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • If you see Jo’burg as nothing but a layover, your guests are missing out
  • Downtown Jo’burg is where the exciting stuff is happening – especially in the art scene
  • Walking tours downtown are the best way to explore the city
  • Maboneng, Urbanologi, Wits Art Museum, Constitution Hill and mural artworks, and the historic mining district should be on your to-do list
  • More pax are sleeping downtown, too

Thomas Ropel, Google

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

People don’t go online any more: they live online. Dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing – the African traveller of tomorrow will decide where, when and how to travel in short digital moments that matter.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

A connected digital travel world is a huge opportunity for the African tourism industry and can shape the future of this rising continent.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

Think about how to engage and interact with travellers across their entire journey – from inspiration to experience – at every moment that matters.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • A New Era: The digital rise of Africa
  • One World:  Consumers’ travel dreaming, planning, booking and experiencing behaviour is changing
  • Connect: Reaching global citizens anywhere, anytime
  • Convince: The spirit of Africa
  • Change: The future of Africa is in your palm

Allister Kreft, Under the Influence

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?

We are bringing hand-crafted beverage brands from around the world directly into 20 African markets and supporting them through our Beverageintelligence education and list management platform, to enable the ultimate guest experiences around beverage for our hotel and lodge clients.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?

The We Are Africa Tribe are passionate about their guests and bringing them the very best in authentic experiences. Our mission as a company is to enable our lodge and hotel clients to deliver the ultimate beverage experiences.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?

I would love them to think about the why of their beverage list, and how each and every product can have a purpose, story and set of experiences for their guests, which, when interwoven with their values and purpose as a company, become an irresistible offering.

For those who can’t be at FUSE, please can you summarise your SPARK in five bullet points?

  • We are going to talk about how to connect the purpose and values of your property to the beverages in your offering
  • You can achieve a unique and authentic beverage offering by focusing on the who of your guests and the why of each and every beverage that you offer them
  • What stories are behind the beverage brands you offer and how do these relate to your purpose and values?
  • What authentic and unique experiences can you create linked to these beverages?
  • How do you link international beverage trends to authentic guest experiences in your property?
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Katie Palmer
Katie Palmer is Editorial Manager for This is Beyond

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