A different, quality way of doing business is how buyers, visitors and exhibitors are describing their experience of the first day of World Travel Market® (WTM) Africa 2015 which kicked off on 15 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The morning festivities began with Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, officially welcoming all exhibitors and media to the second addition of WTM® Africa. De Lille has been Mayor since 2011 and was named World’s best Mayor in 2013. Honourable Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, joined De lille on stage to officially open the show with the cutting of the ribbon.
With over 500 exhibiting companies bringing the world to Africa and promoting Africa to the world’s leading source markets, WTM® Africa has been praised for the quality of its international buyers, superb organisation and excellent conference content.
“I was so encouraged to see the phenomenal attendance at WTM® Africa's great sessions today! It's clear the African Hospitality Market is really keen to actively learn about global industry insights and trends, in order to showcase such an incredible destination on the world's stage. The audiences were super engaged, full of thoughtful questions and perspectives, and I'm really looking forward to what the next two days have in store - see youtomorrow,” commented Alana Witte, Director for Revinate’s African and Middle Eastern divisions, who spoke about next-generation marketing.
Buyers Club member and Director of Development for Ecotours Voyages, David Rosemberg, describes WTM® Africa as a “little piece of heaven”. “I have attended many travel events in Peru, Brazil, Berlin, etc., but this is the best. Nothing compares to this well-run event in South Africa. This is my second year and cannot wait to come back.”
First-time exhibitor Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has taken full advantage of the show to introduce its newly opened South African office. Ati al Dhaheri, TCA Abu Dhabi Head - Middle East and Africa says: “With the launch of South African Airways’ daily flight complementing the existing service operated by Etihad Airways, the time was ripe for us to showcase Abu Dhabi to the African trade.
“WTM Africa has provided a splendid platform for us to attend quality meetings with buyers and introduce the press to the diversity our destination has to offer. We also hosted His Excellency United Arab Emirates Ambassador Hamad Hareb Alhabsi who met with our stakeholders and was very impressed with the event,” commented Dhaheri
“The show has been impressive”, says Expedia, Inc, Area Manager - Ross Kata, who highlighted the overall sense of urgency to do business that he encountered at the show. “It is wonderful to see all the new product on offer and we look forward to seeing the show further differentiate itself in this market.”
The conference and events programme which included sessions on technology, blogging, the challenges in business travel in Africa, LGBT Travel and Responsible Tourism drew above-expected attendance. The line-up of events appealed to a broad spectrum of travel professionals, ensuring that everyone attending the show finds something of interest. WTM Vision-Euromonitor International also addressed the evolution of tourism, wth a special focus on domestic tourism.