September is tourism month, so it’s fitting that Africa Travel Week (ATW) is launching its virtual Meetings & Masterclasses now to connect African tourism products with global buyers.

ATW comprises World Travel Market Africa (WTM), International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTMA), EQUAL Africa, ibtm Africa and Travel Forward, a string of B2B trade shows expected to generate an estimated $451-million worth of business at the 2020 edition, which was postponed until April next year.

“At the heart of our efforts to reimagine the live shows lies a common goal of #makingtravelhappenagain. In other words, giving tourism a real chance to recover, and offering stakeholders every opportunity to rebuild their business ties and networks within the sector,” explains Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism and Creative Industries at Reed Exhibitions.

“At the heart of our efforts to reimagine the live shows lies a common goal of #makingtravelhappenagain. In other words, giving tourism a real chance to recover, and offering stakeholders every opportunity to rebuild their business ties and networks within the sector”

The virtual Meetings & Masterclasses will run from September to October, with three parts:

Part one will focus on how businesses can better position themselves within new or often overlooked market segments predicted to travel first to Africa as restrictions ease. It kicks off with The Luxury Traveller on 09 September, led by luxury traveller and consultant, Anthony Berklich, who is currently visiting Kenya and whose travels average around 200,000 miles per year and tally to over 80 countries.

This session will be followed by Part twoThe African Diaspora traveller on 15 September with Naledi Kabo, CEO of the African Tourism Association and The LGBTQ+ traveller on 16 September with Tanya Churchmunch, the founder of MuchPR, an independent PR firm focusing on travel, lifestyle and LGBTQ markets.

The Post-COVID traveller on 17 September (Part three) will be hosted by special guest, Anita Mendiratta, strategic advisor to the Secretary General of the UNWTO, The World Bank Group, WTTC, IATA and ATAG in Tourism, Aviation and Development.

“During the event, attendees can engage in a series of educational masterclasses led by industry experts. And, unlike your standard webinars, these sessions will encourage a two-way conversation between the teacher-hosts and attendees. You will get to meet with our experts,” adds Oberholzer.

“[U]nlike your standard webinars, these sessions will encourage a two-way conversation between the teacher-hosts and attendees. You will get to meet with our experts.”

In addition to ATW’s Meetings & Masterclasses, the travel and tourism community can also sign-up for WTM Virtual. This two-day event organised by WTM London will run from 02–04 November and is filled to the brim with virtual networking sessions, conferences, and roundtable discussions.

Oberholzer adds that the international buyers from South Africa and Africa’s top source markets are eager to attend the 2021 live event, from 07–09 April, subject to travel regulations allowing them to do so. In the meantime, Reed Exhibitions is working hard to ensure that the venue retains all the magic of the travel marketplace feel, while the safety of the attendees remains their number one priority.

For more information around Meetings & Masterclasses, Africa Travel Week Connect or WTM Africa 2021, please visit atwconnect.com/meet-our-masterclasses-moderators/ or contact atwconnect@reedexpoafrica.co.za.

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