- In 2017 the African Tourism Board, Inc. was started by the African Tourism Board Marketing Corporation, a U.S. based marketing company, and part of the Travel News Group. The African Tourism Board Marketing owns the African Tourism Board brand in the United States of America.
- In 2018 the idea of an African Tourism Board was presented to African leaders at the World Travel Market in London.
Among the original founding members and speakers besides the African Tourism Board, Inc (the founder and owner of the African Tourism Board Brand) in the USA and its president Juergen Steinmetz was Dr. Taleb Rifai, Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, Graham Cooke, Alain St. Ange, Hon. Minister Pratt, Hon. Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Dr. Peter Tarlow, Hon. Moses Vilakati among others.
- it was agreed to establish an African Tourism Board as the first for-profit concept of a board to bring Africa together and share opportunities.
- In 2018 an initial membership program for the African Tourism Board was started and promoted by eTurboNews.
- In 2018 ATB was looking for a CEO and a Chairman and collected applications from several hundred candidates in Africa.
- In 2019 ATB appointed Doris Woerfel as CEO, and Cuthbert Ncube as Chairman
- In 2019 the official launch of the African Tourism Board took place at the World Travel Market in CapeTown. The founder Juergen Steinmetz pledged to establish an African Tourism Board under African leadership, different from ATTA, ATA, and other organization in business at that time. He also pledged to set up a structure that would both accommodate a non-profit political arm and a for-profit marketing arm.
- In 2019 the US based African Tourism Board, Inc was renamed as the African Tourism Board Marketing Corporation, but kept ownership of the African Tourism Board brand and website.
- A different nonprofit African Tourism Board was established by the CEO in South Africa in 2019. Members of the initial Executive Board included the original ATB founder Juergen Steinmetz from the African Tourism Borad (USA), Doris Woerfel (appointed CEO), and Cuthbert Ncube (appointed Chairman)
- It was agreed the ATB membership system should shift to this nonprofit set up, but parallel the African Tourism Board in the U.S. continued as a for profit marketing company.
- COVID broke out putting a delay on everything in early 2020.
- In March 2020 the African Tourism Board became a co-founderof the rebuilding travel discussion, a think tank established by PATA and eTurboNews, and the Nepal Tourism Board. Rebuilding Travel was converted into the World Tourism Network in December 2020 as an independent for profit organization.
- Due to internal conflicts, it was agreed that the African Tourism Board in South Africa would relocate to Eswatini. This was arranged by the appointed chairman Cuthbert Ncube and Dr. Walter Mzembi.
- The Executive Board was working on a plan to facilitate this move when Cuthbert Ncube established his own committee of people without the approval of the executive board.
- The founder Juergen Steinmetz and the Executive Committee was kept uninformed and was not involved in the establishment of the African Tourism Board set up in the Kingdom of Eswatini in 2022.
- Some members including the founder member, Juergen Steinmetz of the Executive Board were removed from general public discussion groups.
- A new so called “people on the ground” was established without prior consulting with the Executive Board. It’s not 100% clear who the members are. This group claimed ownership of the African Tourism Board, and considered members of a WhatsApp chat group as the members of this new African Tourism Board set up in Eswatini.
- A new website was established, while the original website africantourismboard.com was now 100% maintained by the US based African Tourism Marketing Corporation.
- In 2022, a secretariat was established in Eswatini without the Executive Board and founding members knowing details.
- A valid membership list is not available at the secretariat in Eswatini, and the so called members on the ground rely on a Whats App Group as a member base. All contacts were copied without permission from the original WhatsApp group established by the African Tourism Board years ago.
- It can only be assumed that the new structure is based on an unauthorized overturn similar to a coup d’etat.
- The African Tourism Board founder Juergen Steinmetz accepted the re-launch of the political motivated African Tourism Board in Eswatini, but distanced himself from the organization, keeping ownership of the Brand African Tourism Board.
- This is the article published on the opening of the African Tourism Board in Eswatinio March 25,2022
To protect the interest of the African Tourism Board brand and ATB members:
- The African Tourism Marketing corporation has taken control of the africantourismboard.com website and historic membership records.
- No more new members are currently accepted for the African Tourism Board through the African Tourism Marketing Corporation
- The African Tourism Board operated by the US based African Tourism Marketing Corporation is solely working on marketing and outreach programs for the African Tourism Board.
The African Tourism Marketing Corporation is an independent U.S. based for-profit company.
The African Tourism Marketing corporation is a network of highly qualified destination specialists in the United States and Europe. They have full access to the eTurboNews network and are part of the Travel Marketing Network in New York.
By working with stakeholders and with tourism and government leaders, the African Tourism Marketing Corporation seeks to create innovative approaches for inclusive and sustainable tourism sector growth.
The goal for the African Tourism Marketing Corporation is to assist travel businesses to generate business, and for consumers and trade to get answers to travel questions.