WTM Africa 2018 to Highlight Investments in Africa

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WTM Africa 2018 recently announced its inaugural WTM Africa Tourism Investors’ Forum, a platform dedicated to connecting ministers of tourism from countries across the continent, with eager investors.

The Tourism Investors’ Forum will take place on Wednesday, 18 April in the WTM Africa Conference Theatre from 10h30 – 11h15. The theme for the 2018 WTM Africa Tourism Investors’ Forum will be ‘Unlocking the Tourism Potential of Africa’.

Chardonnay Marchesi, South Africa Portfolio Director for Reed Exhibitions’ Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio, says of the Investment Forum: “We are expecting a number of high-profile tourism representatives, from a number of countries in Africa, to attend this highly engaging forum. We hope to provide them with an opportunity to meet with a number of local and international investors in search of investment opportunities in the travel and tourism sector in various countries in Africa.”

The launch WTM Africa Investors’ Forum will host keynote speakers who will contribute their learnings, expertise, and unpack various investment opportunities Africa has to offer, not just in the travel and tourism sector, but also in lateral sectors that contribute to the industry.

As a continent, Africa has shown phenomenal potential in the tourism and travel sector with increased investment in infrastructure from both the public and private sectors. WTM Africa, too, has seen this growth through the considerable increase, particularly in sub-Saharan exhibitors.

WTM Africa has confirmed a range of first-time of exhibitors to its floor from Madagascar, Botswana, Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Managing Director for the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB), Devota Mdachi, explains that in light of the World Bank’s recommendation for a new tourism strategy for Tanzania, TTB has opted to increase its presence and participation at various trade shows around the world with the view of promoting the country’s tourism sector, boost its image as a welcoming tourism destination on the continent, and thereby by attract investment opportunities in the sector.

Mdachi says: “Some of the goals for this greater participation of Tanzanian public and private sectors in WTM Africa include among others: exploring new markets (discovering market niches), assessing the overall competitiveness of the African tourism sector, increasing brand awareness, forging successful partnerships with local and international markets, spotting new trends and increasing visitor volume to Tanzania. And with many predictions forecasting even higher tourism growth for Tanzania in the coming years, the country’s participation in WTM Africa is definitely set to reach even greater heights in the years to come.”

WTM Africa, now in its fifth year, is on track to deliver another outstanding travel trade show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 18 – 20 April 2018. In addition to travel trade in attendance, WTM Africa will see representation from major tourism associations and industry bodies from across the continent.

In just under two months, WTM Africa 2018 will open its floor to over 600 exhibitors and a host of quality influential buyers from key source markets around the globe looking for new and exciting product to sell within their market. WTM Africa 2018 will once again show growth across the number of exhibitors on its floor, the number of buyers in attendance, a large global media contingent and stakeholders from both the inbound and outbound travel trade.

“Africa has long been identified as a continent bursting with potential within the tourism and travel sectors. WTM Africa 2018 is further recognition of this potential and in 2018, we’re ready to welcome more exhibitors from Africa than ever before,” says Chardonnay Marchesi, South Africa Portfolio Director for Reed Exhibitions’ Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio.

Thus far, we are on track to exceed our 2017 buyer registration applications, including hosted buyers and Buyer’s Club members. We have seen a significant increase in exhibitors and have as such, opted to expand the floor space used for stands at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for WTM Africa in April 2018.

“We’re in for multiple new initiatives at WTM Africa 2018, including the ultimate opportunity, WTM Africa Festivals,” explains Marchesi. “WTM Africa Festivals will give everyone the opportunity to socialise after the traditional working hours in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. All attendees will experience the culture, hospitality and cuisine with each hosting exhibitor offering something unique.”

“We are expecting a number of high-profile tourism representatives, from a number of countries in Africa, to attend this highly engaging forum. We hope to provide them with an opportunity to meet with a number of local and international investors in search of investment opportunities in the travel and tourism sector in various countries in Africa.”

Attendees at WTM Africa 2018 will get the opportunity to experience different food and drink from top international exhibitors, as well as technology and private sector companies. Festivities for WTM Africa Festivals will kick off from 4:30pm on Wednesday 18 April. All destinations or exhibiting companies should celebrate festivals during WTM Africa. To confirm your Festival activity, visit

A wide range of prizes, valued at over R100 000, are also up for grabs during WTM Africa 2018 through various social media and exhibitor activations, including those from Legend Lodges, Aquila Private Game Reserve, Cape Sidecar Adventures, Marine Dynamics, and Zulu Nyala.

Global media too have confirmed their attendance at WTM Africa 2018, including our valued media partners: Afrotourism, Cape Town Etc., Nomad Africa Magazine, BizCommunity, Travel Africa TV, Voyages Afrique, Explore Magazine, Travelscope, Travel & Leisure Zambia, and Intrepid Explorer.

WTM Africa would further like to thank its generous sponsors, including AKTV, the Mauritius Tourism Board, MaMere, The Westin Cape Town, OmniTech Solutions, Mother City Hikers, City Sightseeing and Go Turkey Tourism.

This article was written by KRISTIE OMAR.

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Born in Zimbabwe and living in South Africa, Miriro is a seasoned publishing editor and writer, having worked with leading brands in investment, business leadership and entrepreneurship. Passionate about Africa’s development, Miriro is also a dynamic marketing consultant with 10 years experience working with startups and large multinational corporations. With a heart for travel, Miriro spends her time discovering the nooks of crannies of Africa’s hidden gems, taking the roads less travelled, meeting the beautiful people and enjoying their food and culture. She enjoys tackling complex strategic challenges in the passion-to-entrepreneurship pipeline, particularly focused on the implications of 4th Industrial Revolution and workforce automation on Africa's travel and tourism industry. Miriro is currently the Managing Editor of Nomad Africa magazine.

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