Africa Travel Week (ATW), which incorporates both World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) and International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa), ran from 7 to 9 April. For the first time, the event was held as a fully virtual trade show, which proved a success with its global audience: over 5 000 one-on-one meetings were held, the content sessions received a total of 4 000 views, and over 4 300 minutes were spent speed networking.

Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Sports, says, “The feedback received from buyers, travel trade visitors, exhibitors and panellists has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Over 5 000 one-on-one meetings were held, the content sessions received a total of 4 000 views, and over 4 300 minutes were spent speed networking.

Comments from attendees include:

“The organisation and format are great. It´s not replacing the face-to-face meetings happening during the travel fairs, but it´s great to connect again and see the positiveness of all the people we can e-meet. Tourism in Africa will definitely be back soon with such spirit and amazing destinations.” – Christophe Bazille, Managing Director at Hospitality Web Services

“Thank you for always supporting IGLTA and celebrating partnership and collaboration! We are proud to be part of this program and to promote welcoming Africa travel for all.” – LoAnn Halden, VP Communications International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA)

“I want to say a profound thank you for showcasing Seeza SMEs. They are so excited about the engagements they are having with buyers. We are receiving phenomenal feedback from them.” – Septi Bukula, SEEZA Tourism SME Network

All ATW content sessions will remain available on its virtual portal until 9 May. To access this, register here: atwconnect.com/register2021/

“Recognising that face-to-face meetings remain important, but balancing this with the need for our industry to connect at this time, we took a blended approach.”

Oberholzer adds, “Recognising that face-to-face meetings remain important, but balancing this with the need for our industry to connect at this time, we took a blended approach starting with a virtual event in April and live meetings later on in the year.”

The live component will take the form of Connect in the City Live, which is exclusive to ATW virtual exhibitors and a selection of hosted buyers. This will include:

  • Familiarisation tours, where ATW Virtual exhibitors can invite international buyers to experience their products first hand.
  • A dedicated travel and tourism conference.
  • Speed networking sessions where buyers are split according to region and product interests.
  • The African Travel & Tourism Awards, with a special category recognising COVID-19 campaigns that focus on reigniting travel.

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