With just one week to go for the first-ever virtual Africa Travel Week (ATW) – held from April 7-9 – event organiser, Reed Exhibitions, highlighted that the show had reached its exhibitor and buyer targets.
Hosted buyers from across the globe have also expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity to reconnect with their colleagues on the continent, saying they were starting to see an increase in a desire for travel to Africa.
"As news of the vaccine against the coronavirus is spreading positivity, we are sensing a pent-up longing for travel in Sweden. Africa Travel Week Virtual will be a wonderful chance for us at Afrikakompaniet to network with partners and find inspiration that we, in our turn, can give to our clients," said Tina Sayed Nestius, Director Afrikakompaniet.
Luxury and speciality travel consultant with Cavatica Luxury Travel, Charlotte French, agreed, noting that with clients feeling more confident about planning travel, the African continent was a wonderful option for an upcoming trip.
“We have an opportunity as travel advisers, working with our partners on the ground, to deliver extraordinary travel experiences for all ages across the African continent. Personally, I am looking forward to sharing a new meaning of the ‘3 Ws’ with my clients, wildlife, winelands and whales in South Africa, and an added bonus of historic battlefields,” she said.
For Temitope Ogunsebikan from El Accesso Travels in Nigeria, ATW is all about the business opportunities that arise as a result of his participation. “Being the greatest travel event on the African continent and one of the best travel events in the world, Africa Travel Week is tailored to meet both the needs of exhibitors and buyers. There is always a new opportunity, business networking and information to benefit from each attendance. It's awesome that the event has come to stay, despite all odds. I believe that the Africa Travel Week Virtual edition will connect me to both existing and new exhibitors."
Beyond the opportunities to reconnect with industry colleagues and write business, the three-day virtual Africa Travel Week will bring together international thought leaders in the tourism and travel space to share their insights about tourism on the continent, from the future of responsible tourism in Africa and destination marketing trends, to travel technology in times of COVID and meeting source market and market segment demands that have changed during the pandemic.
The show has attracted renowned speakers and thought leaders from around the world like Responsible Tourism stalwart Professor Harold Goodwin, Naledi Khabo (CEO Africa Travel Association) and Dr Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization.
“It’s going to be three days of phenomenal insights about tourism and travel across Africa. We are incredibly proud of this global footprint, not only in the ATW Content Programme, but also the virtual event connecting buyers, trade and media with exhibitors across Africa,” said Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Portfolio Director – Travel, Tourism & Sports.
Headline shows World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) and International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa) will be fully virtual this year, connecting buyers, trade and media with exhibitors across the continent through one-on-one meetings, speed networking opportunities and a virtual exhibition. A robust content programme featuring over 40 panel discussions and presentations will also run for the three-day period.
This is the first part in a series of virtual and live events for Africa Travel Week to be hosted throughout the year, culminating in a Connect in the City Live event in Cape Town in September where selected buyers and media will be hosted in Cape Town.
“There are still seven days left for our trade and media partners interested in travel across the continent to register and book their front-row seats for this #UnlockAfrica extravaganza,” said Oberholzer.