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ATLAS Africa Conference 2017
Eldoret, Kenya
7-9 June, 2017
Africa's Tourism and Travel Competitiveness: Opportunities and challenges
You can download:

The letter for delegates with final information here

The provisional program here

The abstract book here

The book of extended abstracts here

Map of the venue here




The theme of the 10th ATLAS Africa conference, which will be held between Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th June, 2017 at Moi University, Kenya focuses on Africa's Tourism and Travel Competitiveness: Opportunities and challenges.  The theme was selected on the premise that despite exponential growth of tourism in terms of earnings and visitor numbers, Africa still trails other continents in terms of tourist arrivals and receipts. For example according to the UNWTO, Africa had a market share of only 5% of the international tourist arrivals in the year 2015. Key challenges identified include, among others, the continent's competitiveness. A destination’s competitiveness is a complex and multifaceted concept encompassing economic, social, political, natural and cultural aspects.

This International Conference therefore aims at bringing together researchers, academicians, policy makers, destination management experts, practitioners, and representatives from destination marketing organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations on an international platform to discuss various opportunities and challenges with respect to Africa’s tourism and travel competitiveness in relation to other world tourism regions.


Keynote speakers

Judy Kepher Gona

Judy is a sustainable tourism advocate, advisor, assessor and trainer with over 15 years experience in working with tourism sector, communities, conservation. She has made significant contributions, locally in development of criteria and standards for sustainable tourism certification, key among them being the Kenya eco-rating scheme for accommodation facilities, the Kenya Safari Codes, the Eco-warrior Awards and Green Destination Guidelines for Kenya.  In recognitions of her competencies, Judy has served as a judge and assessor for the Kenya/s Eco-Warrior Award, World Travel and Tourism Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from 2008. Since 2014, she has served as judge of National Geographic Nat Geo World Legacy Awards and Unique Lodges of the World.

Her expertise, passion, and commitment have also seen her serve in several profiled positions. At global and regional level, she has served in advisory Board of The international Ecotourism Society (TIES) for more than 5 years, served as board of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and was part of conceptualisation of Africa Sustainable Tourism Alliance. She is also board member of Fair Trade Tourism -FTT. In Kenya, she serves as Director at African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and Chairperson of Board of Basecamp Foundation Kenya (BCFK).

She is c Executive Director of Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda (STTA) an organisation she founded in 2013. STTA uses education, research, and training to advocate for sustainable tourism in East Africa. She is publisher of the EA Sustainable Tourism Report and host of the Annual Green Tourism Summit organised by STTA.

Betty Addore Radier

Chief Exeutive officer
Kenya Tourism Board

Joseph Mbaiwa

Prof Joseph E. Mbaiwa is a Professor of Tourism Studies at the Okavango Research Institute (ORI), University of Botswana since April 2013. He has also been an Associate Professor of Tourism Studies at ORI (2010-2013), Senior Research Scholar (2005-2010), Research Scholar (2000-2005). He graduated with a PhD in Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University (USA) in 2008. He also holds M.Sc. (Environmental Science), Post graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science all from University of Botswana. Prof Mbaiwa has close to 20 years of tourism research and consultancy experience in Botswana and he is widely published on issues of tourism development, rural livelihoods and conservation. He has also published 3 books, 47 journal articles, 30 book chapters, 11 technical reports and presented over 62 papers in international and national conferences. Prof Mbaiwa has supervised and graduated 22 undergraduate research projects and 12 graduate students (Masters & PhDs). He is currently having a total of 10 ongoing graduate students.

Wilber Ahebwa

Dr. Wilber Manyisa Ahebwa is an Associate Professor of Tourism and Conservation Management, Department of Forestry, Biodiversity and Tourism, Makerere University. Wilber has over 13 years’ experience in tourism, and conservation management research in general including natural resource conservation analysis.  He has published on issues of tourism, conservation and development, wildlife and community based tourism in the developing world. He is a Dutch-trained researcher and practitioner with Ph.D in Tourism, Conservation and Development from Wageningen University of the Netherlands, Msc Tourism and Environment Management from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and Bachelor of Tourism from Makerere University, Uganda. Wilber is the current coordinator of the Association of Tourism and Leisure Education- Africa Chapter, and has accumulated formidable experience in tourism and conservation, wildlife conservation in Protected areas of Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, and South Africa. Wilber has worked with local, regional and international organizations such as the UNDP, World Bank, Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, WWF, Uganda Tourism Board, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, National Planning Authority, Rwanda Development Board, UWA, UWEC, East African Tourism Platform, Uganda Tourism Association, Association of Uganda Tour Operators and a number of other respectable agencies across East Africa. 



Conference themes

Africa's Tourism and Travel Competitiveness: Opportunities and challenges.

The conference will cover a range of sub themes but not limited to:

  • Tourism and price competitiveness
  • Tourism supply and demand conditions
  • Tourism value chain and destination competitiveness
  • Destination appeal and tourists experiences
  • Destination policy planning and management
  • Emerging policy issues and destination competitiveness
  • Tourism training and education
  • Tourism, safety and security
  • Crisis management in tourism
  • Resilience in tourism destinations
  • Tourism, health and hygiene
  • Tourism and transport/accessibility
  • Tourism and ICT
  • Natural resources and destination competitiveness
  • Cultural and creative resources and destination competitiveness
  • Globalization challenges and opportunities for tourism
  • Tourism and governance
  • Innovation and creativity in tourism product development
  • International collaborations/trans-boundary policies and practices and tourism development
  • Human resources issues in tourism



Abstract submission

Experts from a variety of disciplines are expected to bring to light theoretical and conceptual frameworks about the pivotal role of African tourism. These experts are to deliver to the conference their full scientific papers, abstracts and extended abstracts, and communications on a range of themes but not restricted to:

  1. Tourism and price competitiveness
  2. Tourism supply and demand conditions
  3. Tourism value chain and destination competitiveness
  4. Destination appeal and tourists experiences
  5. Destination policy planning and management
  6. Emerging policy issues and destination competitiveness
  7. Tourism training and education
  8. Tourism, safety and security
  9. Crisis management in tourism
  10. Resilience in tourism destinations
  11. Tourism, health and hygiene
  12. Tourism and transport/accessibility
  13. Tourism and ICT
  14. Natural resources and destination competitiveness
  15. Cultural and creative resources and destination competitiveness
  16. Globalization challenges and opportunities for tourism
  17. Tourism and governance
  18. Innovation and creativity in tourism product development
  19. International collaborations/trans-boundary policies and practices and tourism development
  20. Human resources issues in tourism

Submission of abstracts

Abstracts (maximum of 500 words) indicating background, practical implications and applications, methods and or data sources and indicative findings of the paper is excepted to be submitted for vetting and verification by scientific committee.

Abstracts should be submitted to ATLAS by using this form before February 20th 2017.

Abstract requirements

The official language of the conference is English. All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by at least two members of the Scientific Committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on theoretical and empirical significance, methodological soundness, technical competency, and logical clarity.

Extended abstracts

The conference organisers have the intention to publish proceedings BEFORE the conference. We would like to receive all the "papers in progress" / "working papers" / "extended abstract", and make a conference proceedings which will be distributed to all participants at the conference. The working papers should have no more then 2000 words.

Extended abstracts should be submitted to ATLAS by using this form before March 1st, 2017.


Important dates

Abstract submission : February 20th, 2017
Notification of acceptance : February 15th, 2017
March 20th, 2017
Extended abstract submission : March 1st, 2017
Conference : June 7-9, 2017
Full paper submission : September 1st, 2017


Scientific committee

  • Moses Okello – Moi University, Kenya
  • Damiannah Kieti – Moi University, Kenya
  • Beatrice Imbaya – Moi University, Kenya
  • Rita Nthiga – Moi University, Kenya
  • Rene van der Duim - Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • Wilber Ahebwa - Makerere University, Uganda
  • Wineaster Anderson - University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Karel Werdler - INHOLLAND University, the Netherlands
  • Marina Novelli - University of Brighton, United Kingdom
  • John Philemon - University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Aggie Weighill - Vancouver Island University, Canada



PhD seminar 

The day before the conference,  on Tuesday 6th of  June 2017, a PhD seminar  will be organized for doctoral students in tourism, hospitality and related fields. The PhD seminar can only be attended by PhD students and if participants have submitted an abstract and CV according to the guidelines presented below. In addition, the PhD seminar can only be attended if one is a delegate at the conference.  The PhD candidates are also stimulated to present a paper during the conference.

During the seminar, participants will be given the chance to present and receive feedback on their PhD research project. Also, time will be allocated for informal talks and the exchange of experiences about the ‘everyday life’, challenges and expectations as a PhD scholar.

The seminar will provide doctoral students in tourism and related fields with an exciting opportunity to discuss their dissertation research with other doctoral students and senior academics in this field. Hence, the seminar will offer a unique opportunity to meet colleagues, share experiences and ideas, and network with students and faculty from different countries and university systems. All topics within the broad field of tourism, hospitality and leisure will be considered.

In order to attend the seminar, participants will be required to hand in a 2000 word paper on your methodological reflections in your project. These could relate to, amongst other things, the choice of appropriate methods, selection or sampling difficulties, a discussion of paradigms or research ethics.  The doctoral seminar will be held in a collaborative, open and friendly atmosphere. In respect to this philosophy, participants are required to attend the entire colloquium.

During the colloquium two presentations will be given; one on “how to publish” by René van der Duim (Wageningen University, the Netherlands) and one on "how to present research results” by Aggie Weighill (Vancouver University, Canada).

PhD convenors:

  • René van der Duim, Wageningen University, Netherlands
  • Wilber M. Ahebwa, Makerere University, Uganda
  • Aggie Weighill, Vancouver University, Canada
  • Joseph E. Mbaiwa, University of Botswana

Abstract submission

The number of participants will be limited so as to create a stimulating environment. The selection among the applicants will be conducted by the chairperson of the seminar.

Interested doctoral students should submit the following (in MS Word format):

  1. A 2000 word summary (plus figures, tables, and references) of their doctoral research project (planned or actual), outlining the topic, problem statement theoretical orientation, methodology and preliminary results (if any) and the main challenges related to the execution of the  research project. Please note that the name of the candidate and of the thesis advisor(s) (if already known) and contact details should appear on the summary.
  2. A one-page Curriculum Vita.

The deadline for submission is February 20th, 2017. Submissions should be sent by email to

The PhD seminar is part of the conference and you can only attend if you submitted an abstract and CV as written above.



Provisional programme

The provisional program can be downloaded here



Field trip

Nandi Hills Located in Nandi County, Nandi hills region offers unique opportunities for visitors to experience. As a tea farming region, visitors are able to visit tea estates and get a chance to be taken through the tea processing system. In addition other attractions to the region include the Nandi escarpment, waterfalls, famous rocks and Museums among others.




Conference packages


Residence: ATLAS members Non ATLAS members Student fee
Africa  € 160  € 210
€ 110
Non Africa: € 335 € 385  € 160

This fee is including:

  • Conference materials
  • Welcome drinks on Tuesday
  • Coffee breaks
  • Lunches
  • Conference dinner on Wednesday
  • Fieldtrip on Thursday
  • Transportation between the recommended hotels and the conference venue on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.



Cancellation policy

As soon as ATLAS has confirmed your registration, you are obliged to pay the conference fee. If written cancellation is received on or before 15th May, 2017, a refund of all meeting fees will be made, minus an administration fee of € 50.

No refund will be possible after 15th May, 2017, but substitute delegates can be nominated.


Conference organisers


The Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and research (ATLAS) was established in 1991 to develop transnational educational initiatives in tourism and leisure. ATLAS was designated a "European Thematic Network" for the tourism and leisure subject areas by the European Commission in 1996. ATLAS provides a forum to promote staff and student exchange, transnational research and to facilitate curriculum and professional development. ATLAS currently has almost 200 member institutions in more then 60 countries. ATLAS has active chapters in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa, and a new chapter ATLAS Americas is being developed at the moment.


MOI University

The conveners of the conference will be the Moi University School of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management (STHEM). Moi University is located in Eldoret town, about 350 kilometers from Nairobi, the Capital City of Kenya. The School of Tourism, Hospitality and Events management, Moi University is one of the largest tourism and hospitality management schools in Kenya and to a large extent, the East African region. The school has competent faculty members who are all round in practical and theoretical areas of tourism and hospitality. The school produces quality graduates through innovative teaching and learning approaches, such as Problem based learning (PBL), industry aligned exposure, globally mapped approach and seasoned Professors, PhD holders and lecturers. The school has three departments, hosting a number of programmes; Six (6) Diploma programmes, Three (3) degree programmes and Six (6) post graduate programmes.

In terms of research and outreach, the school houses the African Journal of Tourism and Hospitality (AJTH), which is a peer reviewed journal. The journal targets publication of current tourism and hospitality research within but not limited to the African continent. The main purpose of the journal is to advance and foster tourism and hospitality education and research. Also the school houses Centre for Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Research (CeTHR). This is a research group combining leading institutions in the fields of tourism, travel and hospitality in Kenya. The School has collaborations and networks with other institutions of higher learning and faculties worldwide. For more information about the school, kindly visit

Kisii University




Airport transfers are not arranged. You can conatct your hotel to arrange this.



  • Contact
    Please contact: e-mail
  • Registration
    Submit this form to register for the conference.
  • Abstract submission form
    Submit this form to submit an abstract for the conference.


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