Africa Travel Week

The industry is adaptable

Walid joined Swissair at the end of 1992. He quickly discovered its extensive network, thanks to the airline’s travel facilities. Walid was snapping up every opportunity to spend 2-3 days abroad and, as a result, travel soon became a lifestyle. He claims that he couldn’t spend more than 3-4 weeks without taking a plane or crossing a border and his life has been a blur of adventure ever since.

How did you fall in love with travelling ?

I’ve always dreamt of being a pilot. Unfortunately, I’ve never managed to realise that dream. However, I did mould my entire professional career within the airline industry. It is only in the last few years that I have blossomed into a travel agent. Today, I’m proud to say that I’ve visited 215 countries or territories recognized by the International World Travelers Club (  

What kind of traveller are you?

I’m a combination traveller. In the early years, when the budget was tight and travel plans were big, I had to backpack so I could get more bang for my buck. When I got married and needed to travel with my wife and daughters, I found myself searching for a bit of extra comfort for their sake. I think it is important to plan ahead when it comes to travel, firstly because visas are a must for most destinations, and, secondly, because I need to be back at the office at the agreed date and time.

Tell us about one of your most memorable trips?

It was back in November 1994 when I was visiting Cairo. When I was studying, I found the Pharaonic Civilization fascinating. So, when I stood in front of the Pyramids of Giza, it was a dream come true.

What lessons have you learnt from your experience during COVID?

The most important lesson is taking care of ourselves, family, employees and customers. The second lesson is “nothing is eternal”.

Based on the five senses and thinking about travelling what do you…
  • Like to see: a whale off the coast of the Northern Sea
  • Like to taste: barbecued chicken at Nando’s in Central Cape Town
  • Like to feel: The heat of Dubai
  • Like to hear: The sound of a siren in New York
  • Like to smell: New shoes in Rome

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.