West Africa
Ecotourism
Network Annual
Regional Summit 2024

 BANJUL, THE GAMBIA 6 – 7 MAY, 2024(Hybrid)

OBJECTIVES

The WAEN 2024 event holds four key objectives. First, the annual WAEN Regional Forum brings together ecotourism stakeholders from West Africa to share experiences and network, creating a cohesive ecotourism industry across the region. Secondly, the 2024 event centers around developing a set of “Ecotourism 101 Masterclasses”. Ecotourism development is still in its nascent stages in West Africa, and capacity building is critical to developing an operational and sustainable sector. The event will host masterclasses around the topics of ecotorism good for the operation and practice  accommodation providers, community-based tourism, and conservation, as well as deep dives into consumer demand trends, gender inclusivity, and circular economy in tourism.

The third objective of the event is to disseminate knowledge from the World Bank’s PROBLUE tourism project in three West African countries. This includes consumer market research on demand from European countries, gender assessments of the tourism sector, and the results of recent circular economy audits.

Finally, WAEN’s 2024 event aims to create market connectivity opportunities for local products and services. WAEN will introduce West Africa Tourism Organisation’s (WATO’s) new Explore West Africa product, which will assist in connecting tourism operators with key markets, as well as launching the Environmental Management System (EMS) Training.

CONCEPT

The two-days hybrid event will include:
• An annual WAEN update of activities undertaken since the launch in November 2022
• An introduction to West Africa Tourism Organisation’s new tool – Explore West Africa and the Launch of Environmental Management System (EMS) Training
• A review of WAEN’s new ecotourism guidelines, to gather feedback from stakeholders
• Presentations/masterclasses from World Bank tourism experts on responsible tourism market intelligence, circular economy.

 •  Masterclasses from industry experts on topics of critical tourism needs in West Africa

• A networking session for ecotourism stakehoders.

• A Field Trip to discover some of The Gambia’s best ecotourism products

METHODOLOGY:

This event will be conducted in person and online. It will also be streamed live on social media platforms and will include presentations, case studies, Q&A and masterclass sessions. The speakers will be experts in the field of ecotourism and sustainable tourism development.

TARGET AUDIENCE:

The target audience for this event includes tourism professionals, government officials, NGOs, academics, and anyone interested in sustainable tourism development in West Africa. Media will be invited to the event to report in the three official languages of the region: English, French and Portuguese.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES:

By the end of the event, participants will have a better understanding of ecotourism, and what it takes to sustainably manage an ecotourism operation. They will increase their networks and gain insights into successful ecotourism projects in West African countries; best practices for ecotourism operations; market demand characteristics from key European markets; and ways to incorporate circular economy practices into tourism operations.

 Finally, participants will understand the tools available to them to connect with key ecotourism markets.This conference will help to raise awareness and understanding of ecotourism as a sustainable tourism development strategy in West Africa. It will serve as a forum for stakeholders to share ideas and experiences, paving the path for the development of more ecotourism projects in the region.

Register to attend the West Africa Ecotourism Nework Annual Regional Summit 2024 in Person or Virtually

Aim

Empower stakeholder in the tourism industry to develop sustainable opportunities through ecotourism

Mission

Be a knowledge hub for ecotourism organisation in West Afirica to disseminate the improve ecotourism practices and standards by facilitating networking with organisations, institutions, professionals and individuals operating within the global tourism industry and interconnected sectors,

Vision

West frica becomes known as high-quality ecotourism destination that contributes to the development of local communities, conservation of nature, and the enhancement of local tourism livelihoods

CONTACT US

Info@westafricaecotourism.network  ecotourism@westafricatourism.com

+239 983 4184‬ 
+234 806 606 0034
+233 27 785 8588
+44 20 3778 0081

With Support from

The activity benefited from  support the Umbrella Facility for Trade trust financed by the governments of the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom