Organisers of the competing shows, the long-established Tourism Indaba in Durban, and the new kid on the block, Thebe Reed Exhibition’s Africa Travel Week, are busy spruiking their appeal to the travel trade.
World Travel Market Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from April 28-May 3, also includes IBTM Africa, focusing on the MICE/business travel sector, and ILTM Africa, covering luxury travel.
Tourism Indaba takes place May 10-12 in Durban.
South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima said Indaba “remains unquestionably entrenched as Africa’s top travel show and will continue to be the engine room of travel trade marketing for the continent”.
The tourism chief conceded, “it’s questionable whether our industry could sustain all current trade show ambitions”.
“Ultimately, we might be left with the two best shows. Indaba is our industry’s showcase, not South African Tourism’s platform.
“It has no commercial imperative and is gearing itself up to be the dominant travel trade show offering the most value.”
Nzima said he was confident that “competition will not erode Indaba”.
International travel and hospitality heavyweight brands such as TripAdvisor, Hilton Worldwide, Starwood and the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group are among the exhibitors signing up for the inaugural WTM Africa.
Bailey Gorst, account manager, Government of Dubai DTCM Southern Africa, said: “Africa, and Southern Africa in particular, is an important source market for DTCM, but until now we have sorely lacked the type of international travel trade exhibition opportunities.”
Among Asian destinations present on the WTM Africa exhibition floor will be Malaysia, Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, Thailand and tour operators Asia King from Vietnam, and Indochina specialist Khiri Travel.