R1bn in bids on the table to position Africa as a high-performance tourism business hub

2019-04-12 09:30 - Selene Brophy
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The business of tourism has seen a hub of activity in the city centre of Cape Town, thanks to the 2019 edition of World Travel Market Africa.

The programme has been jam-packed with events and talks to inspire and motivate the travel industry. But at the heart of the activity are the travel trade exhibitors, who have created engaging products and stands for this year. 

It's in these enticing stands that upwards of "5 800 industry professionals from over 70 countries" across the globe congregate and get down to expanding their travel offerings with real service-provider connections and bookings. 

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According to WTM Africa, the conference has seen an "overall 17% increase in the number of travel professionals making their way to the city for this event", now in its 6th edition on the continent.

An estimated "$410-million was generated over the three days of business on site last year and all indications are that the potential for this year’s show is even more promising", say the organisers. 

Recognising their efforts are the annual WTMA stand awards, with the winners as follows: 

  • Most Responsible Stand – SANBI
  • Best Stand Personnel – La Reunion Island Tourism

  • Best Stand Feature – Thailand

Most Innovative Stand – City of Cape Town 

  •  Best Stand Design – City of Cape Town
  • Best Stand for Doing Business – Botswana
  • Most Extraordinary Festivals Experience – City Sightseeing

Speaking at the conference James Vos, the City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management says, "Cape Town is internationally known as an iconic tourist destination but we have aggressively pushed efforts to build a strong offering for business tourism. Our city has played host to some of the world’s most significant business gatherings such as the Mining Indaba, Africa Oil Week, Africa Utility week, the Manufacturing Indaba and many others.

"The city’s outstanding performance as a business events host city was recognised internationally. This led to Cape Town being named the top City in Africa for Business Tourism by the International Congress and Convention Association for a number of years."

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Through the financial support of the City's Convention Bureau within Wesgro, Cape Town is being actively promoted to the global village, with bids focuses on growing and attracting meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions to the Cape. 

"In the 2017/18 financial year, the Convention Bureau achieved notable success by securing 33 bids with an economic impact of R453 million for the region. For the current financial year (2018/19) Wesgro’s Convention Bureau has secured 30 bids with an estimated economic value double that of the previous year which is close to R1 billion."

Vos says they are committed to supporting all events and business by "eliminating red-tape" to encourage more investment into the city and attract more major events.

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