Travel professionals from around the globe kicked off Africa Travel Week with over 1 000 meetings and 15 content sessions all aimed at #MakingTravelHappenAgain.
Africa Travel Week (ATW) is being hosted from 7 to 9 April 2021, comprising World Travel Market Africa (WTMA) and International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTMA), with a Connect in the City Live event bringing together buyers and exhibitors in person in September to Unlock Africa, in addition to a series of online masterclasses throughout the year.
Highlights of the first day included the opening Ministerial Panel for the African Tourism Investment Summit, co-hosted by the International Tourism & Investment Conference and WTM Africa, held under the banner of “Invest, Rebuild and Restart the African Travel and Tourism Sector”.
At this prestigious event, KenyaTourism Minister Najib Balala sounded the call for investing in infrastructure today to connect Africa for travel tomorrow. “I want the enablers of tourism to be invested in today, so that tomorrow we’ll be ready,” said Balala addressing stakeholders in the opening panel discussion hosted by BBC journalist Rajan Datar.
Further virtual panel discussions unpacked the role of Gen Z in saving the travel industry, Domestic Tourism and the opportunities for African destinations, and the global relevance of Responsible Tourism, along with the Future of Business Events. For the full content programme for the duration of the remaining days, please click here.
Buyers and exhibitors kicked off Day 1 connecting on Africa Travel Week’s ConnectMe virtual meetings platform from sunrise to sundown.
“I had productive meetings last night and this morning. The show is going smoothly, and I got to connect with my vendor for Uganda who will be handling my very first group in June,” says Jalpa Satish Shah from CLOUDSANDSEA/IPLANTRAVEL.
For Winnie Sørensen, Product Manager, Aclass A/S Afrika-safari, the content programme ticked every box. “I joined the ‘Experience Cape Town: a culinary journey from township to terroir’ session and it was awesome. I’ve already asked our DMC if this is something we can offer.”
From Visit Stellenbosch, CEO Jeanneret Momberg praised the virtual format for its productivity, especially the speed networking session. “It’s encouraging to get a glimpse into the COVID world beyond SA borders and to hear how SA remains a favourite.”
In addition to the opportunity to connect, Africa Travel Weeks puts a firm spotlight on Africa’s tourism sector, not just from 7 to 9 April, but beyond, says Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions South Africa.
“After months in the making, we have launched our virtual event to bring together the travel and tourism industry through insightful talks, 1-on-1 connections and the promise of a live Connect in the City event later in September,” says Oberholzer.
In addition to the virtual show in April, ATW has lined up a collection of additional events throughout the year, which include:
- Educational content webinars from May to August.
- Africa Travel Week: Connect in the City Live from 1-3 September, including on-site experiences in the official Host City of Cape Town.
- A series of virtual masterclasses from September to November.
Attendees and industry professionals may remain connected and informed throughout 2021 via atwconnect.com, ATW’s dedicated resource hub jam-packed with free digital tools, industry news and updates.
“We are thrilled to see the enthusiastic conversations happening in this virtual space that will bring travel to Africa, and Africa to the world,” concludes Oberholzer.