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WTM Africa has confirmed it will go ahead with its original 2021 dates, 07-09 April, using the format of a hybrid event. The decision was made based on sentiment research by the show organiser Reed Exhibitions Africa.

“Our sentiment survey revealed that 88% of buyers confirmed they wanted to attend WTM Africa in 2021 and within this, a further 96% confirmed they would travel provided the regulations allowed them to do so. I’m pleased to say our king buyers have also confirmed their attendance, so it’s full steam ahead as far we are concerned,” reports Carol Weaving, MD Reed Exhibitions Africa.

“Our sentiment survey revealed that 88% of buyers confirmed they wanted to attend WTM Africa in 2021 and within this, a further 96% confirmed they would travel provided the regulations allowed them to do so.”

The show attracts buyers from across the globe, with the following breakdown: 40% are from Europe, while 25% are from Africa, 20% from America, 10% from Asia and the Pacific, and 5% from the Middle East.

Two scenarios have been outlined by the organiser; Plan A will see face-to-face meetings and an exhibition held over three days at the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC), with virtual meetings running concurrently. Additionally, a fourth day dedicated to virtual meetings has been added to the programme.

“With an extra virtual event day, we will cater for any international buyers who may not be able to attend the physical element of the show. The benefit to buyers and exhibitors is a greater ROI of connecting exhibitors and additional international buyers that would not have been able to attend the live event, meaning that even more meetings will be set to take place” says Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director – Travel Tourism & Sports for Reed Exhibitions South Africa.

The venue’s capacity has been recalculated according to physical distancing requirements of 3 sqm per delegate, which has resulted in a maximum capacity of 5 000 pax per day.

Oberholzer adds that her team has adjusted plans for the physical event in line with the COVID-19 government guidelines and directives. This includes recalculating the venue’s capacity according to physical distancing requirements of 3 sqm per delegate, which has resulted in a maximum capacity of 5 000 pax per day. A full COVID briefing on all protocols that are being put in place will be given prior to the event.

In the event of a COVID resurgence, the event will switch to Plan B, a fully virtual event over three days on the same dates, with an adjusted offer of tailormade event packages for exhibitors.

“The live/hybrid WTM Africa be the first of its kind in Africa. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the show after a tough year. The time is ripe for us to make travel happen together and WTM Africa is just the platform to reignite it,” adds Oberholzer.

Watch the Africa Travel Week roundtable discussion about this here: