#WTMA18: First day highlights from meetings, networking and events

Travel trade show World Travel Market Africa 2018 opened its doors at the CTICC in Cape Town on 18 April 2018 - welcoming a host of travel professionals eager to meet, network and consolidate business. "We measure our own success on the number of exhibitors, buyers, media and tourism stakeholders that actively seek to attend WTM Africa, and WTM Africa 2018 is no different," explains Chardonnay Marchesi, South Africa portfolio director for Reed Exhibitions' Travel, Tourism and Sports Portfolio. "We have exceeded our exhibitor record for WTM Africa this year, and this certainly shows in the sensational vibe one can experience when walking the exhibition floor!"

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Important discussions underscored the role of women in the tourism sector at the Women in travel Meetup, while the Business Events Conference powered by IBTM Africa explored the potential of the meetings sector in Africa.

The inaugural Tourism Investors’ Forum also examined the possibility for development in both the tourism sector and it’s peripheral industries, focusing on the theme Unlocking the Tourism Potential of Africa. “The inaugural WTM Africa Investor’s Forum aimed to offer visitors and buyers insights into the various tourism investment opportunities available on the African continent. The growth in foreign tourist arrivals to key markets in Africa also presents investment opportunities," reports Sugen Pillay, commercial director for Reed Exhibitions. Institutions such as the City of Cape Town, estmentel Group, Mantis Collection, DSA Architects International, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency and the Ghana Tourism Authority participated in this session, sharing their experiences and opportunities available for potential investors to invest in Africa.

“Following on the theme of opportunity in tourism, captains of industry present at the Travel Leader’s Lunch mulled over how to improve communication and collaboration to foster stronger relationships between the public and private sectors linked to the tourism industry,” explained Carol Weaving, managing director of Reed Exhibitions., who attended the lunch alongside fellow industry stalwarts.

The winners of the auspicious African Responsible Travel Awards, an event dedicated to profiling tourism and travel businesses set on improving the sustainability of the industry, were announced.

#WTMA18: African Responsible Tourism Awards 2018 winners announced

"The judges looked for winners who might educate and inspire others, challenging the industry to achieve more by demonstrating what can be done by businesses and organisations to realise the ambition of responsible tourism. That ambition is simply put: to use tourism to make better places for people to live in."

19 Apr 2018

The first day of WTM Africa launched the all-new WTM Africa Festivals, a concept that saw attendees experience the world in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Attendees had the chance to experience the culture, hospitality and cuisine of the host city of Cape Town and network with industry peers.
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