By Chinelo Obogo
The organisers of the biggest travel and tourism expo in West Africa, AKWAABA African Travel Market says that the 18th edition of the event will focus more attention on Medical Tourism.
They said this while announcing the date for the 2022 edition of the annual event which would hold at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels, Lagos, from October 31 to November 1, 2022.
The organizer, Mr. Ikechi Uko, said they decided to give attention to Medical Tourism and Health Insurance at the 2022 edition of the event because of the increasing importance of Medical Tourism in Africa.
“Recently, United Nations World Tourism Organization UNWTO had a joint program with the World Health Organization WHO to streamline their strategies and according to UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, COVID-19 showed that any crisis that threatens the health, safety and security of people, communities and the environment is also a risk to tourism itself.
“Also, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who supervises tourism, said Nigerians spent over $1 billion on Medical Tourism in 2021. This underscores the importance of this type of tourism and the need to examine the role of health travels in the growth of tourism and travel. Hospitals and medical tourism organisations from different countries will be invited to this year’s event.
“Leisure and corporate travel had been the leading source of travel business out of and into Nigeria and West Africa. The growth of medical tourism in the last few years demanded more focus on that sector of tourism. There will be a B2B session on Medical Tourism and Health Insurance on November 1, along with a panel discussion with experts from both receiving countries and departing destinations. This 18th Akwaaba will host the 5th edition of the African Travel and Tourism Conference and the 2nd Edition of Africa Travel 100 Women Awards,” he said.