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

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. 

SEE: SAA still number one in seat capacity: The hard numbers behind South Africa's air connectivity

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."

READ: Drilling deeper into destinations: Why you should start choosing secondary-destination travel 

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.

Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices here. You can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe hereOr download the News24 App hereto receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
52% - 7690 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
44% - 6417 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 589 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo