Africa’s biggest B2B inbound & outbound travel & tourism market, World Travel Market Africa, continues to grow, having welcomed 6 236 industry professionals from 100 countries in 2019. Attendance and participation numbers were up, across the board – a clear sign that the African travel & tourism industry is open for business and stoking anticipation for an even bigger and better WTM Africa 2020 event.
WTM Africa 2019 drew 15% more visitors than ever before and attracted travel trade professionals from Mauritius, Ukraine, Belarus, Benin and San Marino for the first time, with the overall number of countries represented, up by 42%.
Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions South Africa says that #WTMA19 welcomed 4 362 travel trade visitors and 738 exhibiting companies – but it was the business done on the floor that has the team excited for an even bigger WTM Africa 2020. “Our 688 Buyers’ Club Members and 226 Hosted Buyers made excellent use of the opportunity to pre-schedule appointments and our two days of Speed Networking were once again massively successful,” she says. “The desire to bring the world to Africa with leading travel & tourism opportunities is being met by an ever-expanding offering from the continental industry – and we’re excited to help facilitate such phenomenal growth”.
#WTMA19 saw growth in deals across travel & tourism categories, but the most successful sectors this year were: Adventure Travel; Activity Holidays; Business Travel; Safari Holidays; Cultural & Heritage Tourism; Meetings & Conferences; Over-50’s Tourism and City Breaks. WTM Africa has programs dedicated to every aspect of the industry, including Travel Forward with E-Tourism Africa Seminar (eTAS); African Tourism Investment Summit in partnership with Africa Business Group; The Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE); the Business Case for Responsible Tourism Conference; Women in Travel and the Business Events Conference powered by IBTM Africa. The program is set to expand further at #WTMA20, with Oberholzer confirming that Travel Forward will become a dedicated two-day conference, next year.