“Over the past three years WTM Africa has seen visitor numbers grow, with a 23% increase in 2016, resulting in a 19% increase in travel professionals overall,” says Chardonnay Marchesi, General Manager of Africa Travel Week. “This growth alone has pushed us as a team to think on how we would innovate for WTM Africa 2017!”
Talking on innovation, the official organisers of WTM Africa, Reed Exhibitions, have taken trade, media and buyer feedback to enhance WTM Africa 2017 to present an even better exhibition than in previous years.
“We’re delighted to be hosting WTM Africa 2017 in April - a great month to visit Cape Town, where everybody wants to be naturally - as well as the ideal time to secure bookings ahead of the peak periods we see across the continent for travel,” furthers Marchesi.
In the lead up to WTM Africa 2017, the Reed Exhibitions team has been hard at work presenting buyer insights back to the local industry. “Our specialised focus on the African continent will bring the diversity and opportunity for the travel sector to the fore in 2017, with over 600 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees. In 2015, we estimated that a significant US $333m worth of business was conducted. While we are still calculating our figure for 2016, our in-depth research tells us that although a great deal of business is written on site, it doubles after six months and remains on this level for future projection.”
2017 will see an increased number of international and local buyers in attendance at WTM Africa says Marchesi. “We have tightened up our qualification criteria for buyers to ensure that we have the right people with purchasing authority at WTM Africa 2017. We are pushing for significant growth in buyers in attendance, with a 49% split from Europe and 11% from the USA, key target markets for South Africa’s tourism sector. Emerging markets will also be represented at WTM Africa 2017.”
In addition, WTM Africa’s ability to adapt to the fast pace of the travel sector and trade’s demand of an exhibition mean that new buyers are constantly being targeted, new sectors are constantly being added, and repeat buyers with buying power are being catered to simultaneously.
What this means is that WTM Africa 2017 will focus heavily on creating an ideal environment in which business deals can be brokered. For this reason, the following innovations have already been made ahead of 2017:
- A host of international speakers from across the globe will focus on pertinent topics affecting the modern travel industry, as well as look to identify trends in the African travel market
- New to WTM Africa in 2017, the Outbound Conference Theatre will invite travel agents to learn more about the international destinations that are right on our doorstep
- Enhancements have been made to the Speed Networking programme, with each session extended to 90 minutes from 60 minutes in 2016.
- The matchmaking and diary system has also been improved with the functionality to request meetings with fellow exhibitors and the ability to block out times in the diary.
- Exhibitor workshops ahead of WTM 2017 will be conducted early in the year, while a White Glove Service means that training can also be done right in your office.
Members of the travel trade and its associated media excited about attending next year’s show in Cape Town are encouraged to register soon for WTM Africa 2017 by visiting www.wtmafrica.com
and submitting their applications.