Africa Travel Week
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Africa Travel Week 2024: Unveiling Africa’s Future Travel Trends

What is LGBTQ friendly travel? Why are food tours and cooking classes the secret ingredient to authentic, immersive travel? Is Africa just copper bathtubs and tented safaris? What on earth is star bathing? All this and more in the ATW Trends Report 2024

Cape Town – Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Africa Travel Week (ATW) has solidified its position as a pivotal event for exploring transformative trends within the travel and tourism sector. Hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 10 to 12 April, this year’s gathering marked the launch of the eagerly awaited ATW Trends Report 2024. This unique annual trend report provided the backdrop for insightful discussions led by a panel of industry pioneers on the evolving preferences in travel, specifically Africa travel.

Key Panel Highlights on Emerging Travel Trends:

LGBTQ+ Family Travel
Michael Gladwin, founder of Afrigay Travel and a staunch advocate for inclusive travel, emphasized the diversity of the market.

“LGBTQ-friendly travel—I prefer to say LGBTQ-inclusive travel—is a challenging concept because people don’t understand who the LGBTQ traveller is. There is a misunderstanding and misperception that the LGBTQ traveller is always a young person.”

Gladwin highlighted the substantial market potential for LGBTQ+ family travel. He asserted that it’s about “more than just welcoming destinations—it’s about truly understanding and catering to these families,” which underscores the economic benefits and the necessity for inclusivity.

Culinary Tourism
Elsje Bester, Co-founder & Tour Director at Cape Farm Culinary Tour, highlighted the ongoing shift towards authentic culinary experiences.

She noted, “People are eager to meet local cooks and chefs and experience firsthand the food culture of Cape Town.”

“Culinary travel through Africa, when done respectfully, reveals delicious stories that enrich and inspire,” reveals Lerato Umah-Shaylor, African author and founder of Lerato Foods & Naturals, in the report. “Identifying Africa as a culinary destination is the new frontier. There’s an appetite for African food, from home cooking to high-end cuisines and restaurants.”

The culinary tourism trend is laying the table for the larger movement towards immersive and authentic local experiences. And Africa is positioned to deliver this.

Additional Trends Highlighted in the Report:

Star Bathing: Capitalizing on Africa’s clear skies and remote locations, star bathing reconnects travellers with the universe. This trend emphasizes a return to our primal connections, offering a serene escape from the digital world.

Human Rewilding: Defined in the report as reconnecting with nature through practices like forest bathing and wildlife interactions, human rewilding offers travellers expansive opportunities to engage with the natural environment.

Agritourism: Showcasing Africa’s rich agricultural heritage, agritourism invites travellers to experience authentic on-farm activities, further enriching their travel experiences.

Ultra-Luxurious Safari Experiences: As highlighted in the report, there’s a rising demand for high-end travel, with 7+ star safari lodges offering exclusive and bespoke wildlife encounters, enhancing the luxury travel segment in Africa.

Both the report and panel discussion underscored a shift towards personalized and immersive travel experiences, aligning with a growing global demand for inclusive and diverse travel options. The panel noted that travellers increasingly reject a one-size-fits-all approach.

Significance of This Year’s WTM Event:

With a 53% increase in attendance and delegates from 88 countries, WTM Africa 2024 underscores the growing global interest in Africa’s diverse tourism offerings. The event facilitated extensive networking opportunities with 53 partners, demonstrating Africa’s readiness to adapt to emerging tourism trends as detailed in the comprehensive ATW Trends Report 2024. For further details and insights from the ATW Trends Report 2024, please visit the website.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.