WORLD TRAVEL MARKET AFRICA, IBTM AFRICA AND ILTM AFRICA UNDERWAY IN CAPE TOWN
(Posted 21st April 2017)
The Africa Travel Week, which kicked off on the 19th of April with its main event, the World Travel Market Africa, is now well underway in the South African port city of Cape Town.
The main hall of the exhibition on the ground floor of the Cape Town International Convention Center was filled to capacity with exhibitors from not just South Africa but some 20 other countries on the continent and beyond – Thailand and India once again had major stands at WTM Africa 2017 – and all 235 of them did brisk business on the first two days.
National Tourism offices from among other countries present in Cape Town were Tanzania including Zanzibar – notably the only such organization from Eastern Africa – but also Zambia, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Egypt and from the Indian Ocean islands Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius.
A series of presentations were made on Day 1 of the event with this correspondent giving a 45 minutes overview on the aviation sector in Eastern Africa with special emphasis on RwandAir’s phenomenal rise in recent years. This received wider media attention from among others Louzel Lombard Steyn of Traveller 24 who wrote: http://traveller24.news24.com/News/Flights/becoming-a-global-aviation-leader-is-sa-on-track-20170419
On the 20th of April did part two of three then join the action when the one day IBTM Africa kicked off, dedicated to MICE travel, business travel and notably a whole afternoon discussion session dedicated to sports tourism.
This correspondent was one of the invited speakers to present Rwanda as a rising MICE power in Africa, the country presently ranked by ICCA as number 7 on the continent but with a further improvement anticipated when the global body will release their 2016 ranking list in just a few weeks time.
Last but not least will the luxury travel segment have its own meeting as part of the Africa Travel Week, called ILTM Africa, similar to events organized by Reed Exhibitions elsewhere around the world.
Here are the selection criteria even more stringent and hosted buyers must show their capacity and numbers before they get on the list for the event which will run from the 21st to the 23rd of April, when the Africa Travel Week 2017 will draw to a close.
Reed Exhibitions this year attracted 28 main partners for the event, led by host city Cape Town and among others Carlson Rezidor, Air Mauritius, Tsogo Sun and of course South African Airways.
15 Gold Association Partners were named, among them such global heavy weights like the Africa Travel Association, London based ATTA, ABTA – the African Business Travel Association, RETOSA and SAACI – the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry.
This was followed by 10 Gold Media Partners which came on board for the 2017 edition of the Africa Travel Week.
This year’s catalogue then showed 22 tightly filled pages with exhibitors from across the continent of Africa and beyond, underscoring how far the Africa Travel Week has come in recent years, against initially strong and not always fair opposition from rival INDABA.
Nearly 200 hosted buyers were invited to Cape Town for the event, coming from 47 different countries, again showing the growing importance of the Africa Travel Week with its three main events, WTM, IBTM and ILTM.
Said Carol Weaving, CEO of Reed Exhibitions: ‘2016 so far was our biggest yet with nearly 5.000 travel professionals from 77 countries coming to the Africa Travel Week in Cape Town. Our events over the past three years have injected a further estimated 330 million US Dollars into the tourism industry in terms of additional business. The Africa Travel Week is the only such event in South Africa which caters for both inbound and outbound travel. And we have widened the time frame for speed networking for travel professionals but also for the media to 90 minutes per session‘.
There you have it, the Africa Travel Week is now an established part of the tourism trade fair circuit in Africa and as such an event which can only be ignored at the peril of companies who are not present and miss out on opportunities to become more visible, market their services and help to promote travel to Africa.