World Travel Market Africa puts Africa’s tourism industry on show in Cape Town!


World Travel Market Africa 2col_330x200_IMG_8220Africa Travel Week 2015 kicked off in the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday, and runs for the full week, attracting about 5000 delegates from around the world.   The Africa Travel Week consists of three events.

On Monday International Luxury Travel Week commenced, 300 delegates welcomed to Cape Town and the Western Cape by provincial Minister of Tourism Alan Winde. He informed delegate that luxury travel is a growth segment for the Western Cape: ‘Luxury travel is a lucrative niche and our local establishments are well positioned to offer high-end experiences. We’re excited to once again be the host province for ILTM Africa. In 2014, this event generated a R41 million boost for Africa’s luxury travel industry and resulted in over 4000 business meetings among key players‘.

Today World Travel Market Africa kicks off, and runs over the next three days, a competitor to Indaba, many would say!  The City of Cape Town is the key sponsor of this event, consisting of an exhibition of Tourism products and services, as well as a Conference, with local and international industry leaders speaking over the three days.  Mayor Patricia de Lille and Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa will be present at the opening of the exhibition at 10h00 this morning.  Major exhibitors include Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Etihad Airways, Namibia Tourism and twenty of its members, as well as Hotel Verde, our city’s greenest hotel.  The Tourism event will contribute monies and attract attention to The Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct, its official charity.  It is also promoting the South African National Biodiversity institute.

The Conference program includes talks today on The Evolution of Tourism by Euromonitor’s Ronald Tinashe Mapiye; Nick Hall of Digital Tourism Think Tank and a panel will discuss key consumer trends; global growth in LGBT Travel; Millennials; Challenges of Business Travel; and the influence of international travel bloggers on changing the media landscape. Tomorrow talk topics will include Passport to Africa; Millennials and Mobile; a rhino education project; Responsible Tourism; and best practices in Blogging.  A highlight on Friday is a panel discussion on a better spread of tourists throughout the province. The Business Travel Market Africa also runs this week.

Minister Winde said about the province’s Tourism focus: ‘Tourism is our fastest growing sector and it’s creating jobs the fastest. There are currently 204 000 people employed in formal jobs and the sector is worth R17 billion. Under a high-growth scenario, this sector could add a further 100 000 jobs to our economy. On Tuesday, we will be hosting a design lab, in partnership with the private sector, to identify potential game-changing growth strategies for the tourism sector. Later this year, we will submit a plan to Cabinet with practical projects to reach our jobs and growth targets’.

For a number of years the Western Cape Tourism industry has called for Indaba to move to Cape Town, being the focus of our country’s Tourism industry.  As SA Tourism still has not seen the wisdom of this request, Reed Exhibitions and the City of Cape Town are showing SA Tourism that there is a large interest in WTM Africa, being held in Cape Town less than a month before Indaba!  Indaba is stronger at its PR (WTM Africa being surprisingly weak in its marketing), boasting a 30% increase in exhibitor numbers for this year’s exhibition!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Tel (021) 433-2100, Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here

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