4,000 travel pros gather for WTM Africa

A new event for the travel industry is coming to South Africa. WTM Africa, can you tell us more about it?

Carol Weaving
Carol Weaving

Thebe Reed Exhibitions and Reed Travel Exhibitions have been exploring opportunities in Africa for some time, and the success of the first launch event, ILTM Africa (International Luxury Travel Market), in 2013 has provided the platform to now introduce more global brands to the continent’s travel industry.

The first World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) is a fresh, new and exciting event that will welcome up to 4,000 travel professionals involved in both the inbound and outbound African travel and tourism industries. Catering for all sectors, WTM Africa will become the leading global B2B exhibition for the African travel industry: a market place to conduct business, negotiate deals and sign contracts.

Who should attend at WTM Africa and why?

WTM Africa is open to all travel professionals in the travel and tourism industry. Whether you are a person working in a travel agency, or a tour operator. Whether you are involved in bringing visitors into Africa or sending them on trips out of South Africa, WTM Africa is for you.

Some 30 destinations outside of Africa will participate including France, Dubai, Germany, Portugal, Norway, India, Thailand, Turkey, Italy, Singapore, Israel and Malaysia.

Exhibitors from Africa including Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland, Reunion Island and Botswana along with top Destination Management Companies will also profile their destinations, products and services.

WTM Africa will also run an inspirational and topical event programme which will include:

• WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Programme will be discussing the latest sustainable tourism initiatives and thinking affecting the African continent.

• African Business Travel Association (ABTA) sessions on the broad range of developments, challenges and opportunities that are revolutionising the business travel industry today.

• Education within the African travel industry organised by local expert Kamilla Swart, Associate Professor at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

• A dedicated blogger programme featuring some of the most influential travel bloggers in Africa.

• Travel technology, offering you a chance to learn about the latest trends and challenges within travel technology.

• South Africa’s first WTM Vision Conference – WTM Vision – Cape Town, offering travel executives the chance to hear the latest research on regional-specific trends and insights into what the future for those sectors might be.

So the two days really are jam-packed full of knowledge building opportunities for all travel professionals.

WTM Africa is to be held in Cape Town. Why was Cape Town chosen as the host city for this inaugural event?

Apart from the obvious reasons that it is an all-encompassing attractive destination within South Africa and Africa to visit, our research indicated that Cape Town is one the most highly sought after destinations in Africa both by our potential exhibitors and in particular by international travel industry professionals, who will make up the visitor profile from all over Africa and beyond. Added to that our standards require a world class exhibition venue that can cope with the size of the event, which we have in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

How do you see WTM Africa and the Africa Travel Week brand benefiting the African Continent?

Our events are focussed on delivery and also longevity. This is evident with WTM in London reaching its 35th event this year and its equivalent in Dubai, ATM, which it is now in its 21st year. Tourism is a key economic driver in Sub Saharan Africa, and WTM Africa will mirror Reed Travel Exhibitions’ flagship events in other regions in the world providing a catalyst for economic growth.

The latest World Bank Tourism report cites that tourism accounts directly or indirectly for one in every 20 jobs in Sub Saharan Africa far outpacing many other countries in tourism growth and the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) predicts growth of 4.8% over the next 10 years for Africa, growing at practically the same rate as the overall African economy and making tourism the fourth fastest growing sector in the continent. WTM Africa supports all these findings and are committed to assisting the growth of tourism in this region.

Register to attend online at www.wtmafrica.com/registration and enter into our visitor competition to win a luxury 2 night getaway!

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