Nearly fifty countries from four continents have confirmed participation for this year’s Africa Travel Week scheduled to come off at the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa from April 3-5.
Now in its 7th edition, Africa travel week has grown to be one of the continent’s major marketplaces for leisure, MICE and many segments of the tourism sector.
Speaking in an exclusive with VoyagesAfriq, the Portfolio Director at Africa Travel Week, Megan Jager said, already, there were an impressive number of countries that have signed up for this year’s event.
“To date, we’ve got 49 different countries confirmed. And we have countries that were never represented at the show either, which are Malaysia, Armenia, Romania, Bangladesh, Pakistan, San Marino, and then from a team perspective, we have 19 countries represented. So far, 88% of these buyers are brand new to the event. We’ve also already got some great tourism boards signed up. We’ve got Maldives, SAT, Namibia Botswana, and Sierra Leone just to name a few,” she revealed.
Recounting the success of the 2022 event, Megan said last year’s Africa Travel Week had more meetings than it did in 2019, pre-Covid.
She emphasized, “We had, over 6,200 participants at last year’s event, which we were very chuffed with being that it was in a pandemic world. This year, we’re looking to go up by an average of 20%, and I’m pretty sure we’ll exceed that as well.”
Previewing the 2023 edition of the event, Megan told VoyagesAfriq, “We’ve got ILTM Africa kicking off Africa Travel Week, and that is really our niche boutique luxury event. It’s a tabletop event – invite only, and I’m really excited to announce that it’s going back to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. We’ve also expanded into the luxury travel world as well as that into Equal Africa, which deals with the LGBTQ+ market.
ILTM Africa will feature one-on-one meetings, over the three days, with several networking events geared at creating experiences for exhibitors and patrons.
“It’s looking at how do we actually merge all of our exhibitors in something that’s completely different,” Megan stated.
The Africa Travel Week portfolio comprises WTM Africa, IBTM Africa, ILTM Africa with events such as Africa Travel and Tourism Awards and African Tourism Investment Summit which according to Megan, “has proved to be really popular. And as part of this, we have the ministerial round table.
Africa Travel and Tourism Awards
The awards’ ceremony will return to face-to-face format this year and will celebrate amazing industry success stories across diverse categories.
“We’ve got the most compelling tourism story and that’s open to national, regional, or city boards and marketing agencies. We’ve got the most compelling technology story, the most compelling agency story, the most compelling digital campaign story, most compelling responsible tourism story which will see winners actually go through to the Global Responsible Tourism Awards.
“The objective is really to honor those businesses that have gone above and beyond to do something that we can recognize and actually take learnings from,” Megan disclosed.
She added that as a key focus, a sustainability pavilion will be introduced on the show floor.
The Portfolio Director explained: “As part of that, what we are very excited to announce is that we’re going to have a pledge where you can come through and sign your need for zero carbon pledge at the actual event.
“Something that we are really excited about is we’re actually going to be having lanyards that are made out of recycled plastic. And then we also have, the lanyard holders or the pouch holders for your badges that are made out of paper that has vegetable seeds in it.”
A nexus for travel professionals across South Africa, the continent and the globe, Africa Travel Week plays hosts to various shows, conferences and award ceremonies focusing on leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel, MICE/business travel, sport tourism as well as travel technology.