Surging interest in African tourism at record-breaking WTM Africa

Leading African travel show registers 40 pc jump in buyers
2024-04-25
/
/ New Delhi
WTM Africa
Surging interest in African tourism at record-breaking WTM Africa

Influx of new buyers contributed to 10,505 pre-scheduled meetings

Leading travel trade fair in Africa, WTM Africa, that concluded recently in Cape Town saw record participation from 99 countries from around the world.
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World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) that wrapped up its 2024 edition recently, at Cape Town in South Africa, with record-breaking numbers has demonstrated a significant surge in global interest towards African travel and tourism. 

According to a press statement by the organisers, this year saw a 40 pc jump in buyers compared to 2023, solidifying the event’s status as the continent’s leading travel trade show.

 WTM Africa

This year saw a 40 pc jump in buyers compared to 2023

The statement adds that WTM Africa 2024 hosted 705 exhibitors and 5,752 industry professionals from 99 countries. The buyer attendance was notably diverse, featuring strong representation from emerging markets like Greece, Philippines, Switzerland, Singapore, Lithuania, New Zealand, Ghana, China, Japan, and Argentina, say the organisers. 

This influx of new buyers contributed to the impressive 10,505 pre-scheduled meetings conducted during the event. This expanded reach promises increased investment and awareness for African destinations worldwide.

Carol Weaving

Carol Weaving

“The enormous increase in buyers highlights the growing confidence and investment in Africa as a compelling travel destination. WTM Africa is a serious business event, and our goal is to facilitate connections that lead to tangible growth for the African tourism sector. This year’s success underscores that commitment, and we are thrilled to see such a positive response,’’ says Carol Weaving, Managing Director, RX Africa, which organises the show.

They add that a highlight of WTM Africa 2024 was the inaugural African Media Awards, recognising exceptional reporting on tourism, travel, and hospitality in Africa. The awards celebrated the crucial role journalists play in promoting the continent’s destinations and experiences.

The statement adds that Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored by the V&A Waterfront, also returned, honouring businesses and initiatives that prioritise sustainable and ethical practices within the travel sector. These long-standing awards align with WTM Africa’s commitment to driving positive change and promoting responsible tourism across the continent. The trophies for the Responsible Tourism winners were provided by Ngwenya Glass.

Additionally, WTM Africa 2024 featured the highly-anticipated Trends Report, providing invaluable insights into the latest industry developments. The event’s speaking programme was a resounding success and brought together the who’s who of the African tourism industry including among others representatives from Cape Town Tourism, Weeva, Singita, the TBCSA and many more. The speaking programme was sponsored by LIFT, who provided flights for speakers and hosted buyers.

The statement adds that new this year was the Brain Box, offering interactive sessions and hands-on learning opportunities for attendees. This innovative addition allowed industry professionals to engage with material in a more immersive and practical manner.

“We are incredibly proud to have launched the African Journalism Awards and introduced exciting new elements like the Brain Box. These initiatives, combined with our established programmes, demonstrate our commitment to driving innovation and elevating the African travel industry,’’ says Weaving.

As WTM Africa looks ahead to 2025, the event remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate business opportunities, foster meaningful connections, and showcase the diverse and captivating travel experiences that Africa has to offer, the statement adds.

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