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The successful development and management of visitor experiences and attractions, the backbone of the tourism industry , is both a science and an art. Until 2014, no help or network existed for visitor experience and attraction professionals in Southern Africa. Attractions Africa Conferences filled the gap and became the conference of choice for visitor experience and attraction professionals, tourism practitioners, and destination management organisations. Important conversations have been ignited in this area of expertise and that are advancing and growing the visitor experiences and attractions industry (and ultimately contributing to the draw of visitors throughout the region). After five annual Attractions Africa Conferences, the African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AAVEA) was formed in November 2018.

Mission: AAVEA’s mission is to represent the interests of visitor experiences and attractions, to raise awareness of the contribution they make to the broader tourism industry, to enhance discussion and co-ordination among visitor experience and attraction professionals, and to host an annual conference that provides education, networking, and collaboration opportunities. Our members are visitor experience and attraction professionals, tourism industry stakeholders, and suppliers to visitor experiences and attractions.

What does AAVEA do?

Data Gathering and Benchmarking
Understand the scope of the sector and the magnitude of the contribution that attractions and visitor experiences make to domestic and international tourism. Compare and contrast metrics against peers locally and internationally. Promote research on visitor experiences and attractions.

Placing the issues that affect visitor experiences and attractions firmly on the agenda: with the Department of Tourism, fellow representative bodies in tourism, regional destination management organisations, and the media. Promoting policies and action on issues that affect visitor experiences and attractions. Firmly guiding the conversation and ensuring a seat at the table. Enhancing discussion and co-ordination among visitor experience and attraction professionals.

Training and Education
Visitor experience and attraction management is an art and a science. The annual conference, masterclasses, regional seminars, and member communications provide the tools and conversations to ensure that our members are up to date, well informed, and operating at international standards. Progress your Continuing Professional Development through our accredited events.

Sharing challenges, solutions, and best practice among peers contributes to higher standards across the sector and a greater cohesion of outlook among members, highlighting issues for advocacy and areas of concern. To facilitate and provide a forum for all stakeholders for effective communication, formation of opinion, and public debate concerning visitor experiences and attractions.

Host the Annual AAVEA Conference
In fulfilling the Training and Education, and Community pillars of our mandate, AAVEA host the annual AAVEA Conference. The programme of sessions and networking is attended by more than 100 visitor experience and attraction professionals from around South Africa.

Meet our board

Sabine Lehmann

President of the Board and Executive Director, AAVEA

Alichia Nortje

Two Oceans Aquarium

Craig Allenby

National Zoological Gardens

Fatima Anter

Cape Point

Fazielah Williams

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Jonny Gardner

The Happy Snappy Photo Company

Mandi Jarman

City Sightseeing South Africa

Mpume Mabuza

uShaka Marine World

Sibusiso T. Dlamini

City of Tshwane

Tinyiko Mageza

V&A Waterfront