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WTMA21: Africa Travel Week day one highlights

Travel professionals from around the globe kicked off Africa Travel Week on 7 April 2021 with over 1,000 meetings and 15 content sessions all aimed at #MakingTravelHappenAgain.
Image Supplied.

Africa Travel Week (ATW) comprising World Travel Market Africa (WTMA) and International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTMA), with a Connect in the City Live event, brings together buyers and exhibitors in person in September to Unlock Africa, in addition to a series of online masterclasses throughout the year.

Highlights of the first day included the opening Ministerial Panel for the African Tourism Investment Summit, co-hosted by the International Tourism & Investment Conference and WTM Africa, held under the banner of Invest, Rebuild and Restart the African Travel and Tourism Sector.

At this event, Kenya Tourism Minister Najib Balala sounded the call for investing in infrastructure today to connect Africa for travel tomorrow. "I want the enablers of tourism to be invested in today, so that tomorrow we’ll be ready," said Balala addressing stakeholders in the opening panel discussion hosted by BBC journalist Rajan Datar.

Further virtual panel discussions unpacked the role of Gen Z in saving the travel industry, domestic tourism and the opportunities for African destinations, and the global relevance of responsible tourism, along with the future of business events.

In addition to the opportunity to connect, Africa Travel Weeks puts a firm spotlight on Africa’s tourism sector, not just from 7 to 9 April, but beyond, says Megan Oberholzer, portfolio director: travel, tourism and sports portfolio for Reed Exhibitions South Africa. "After months in the making, we have launched our virtual event to bring together the travel and tourism industry through insightful talks, 1-on-1 connections and the promise of a live Connect in the City event later in September."

In addition to the virtual show in April, ATW has lined up a collection of additional events throughout the year, which include:

• Educational content webinars from May to August.

• Africa Travel Week: Connect in the City Live from 1-3 September, including on-site experiences in the official Host City of Cape Town.

• A series of virtual masterclasses from September to November.

"We are thrilled to see the enthusiastic conversations happening in this virtual space that will bring travel to Africa, and Africa to the world," concludes Oberholzer.

Attendees and industry professionals may remain connected and informed throughout 2021 via atwconnect.com, ATW’s dedicated resource hub packed with free digital tools, industry news and updates. For more information on WTM Africa Virtual, visit www.wtm.com/africa.
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