From established destinations such as Egypt and Morocco to emerging destinations such as Botswana and Senegal, Africa will have a presence at this year’s event to reinforce its potential to become one of the travel and tourism industry’s most important regions.
For example, more than 30 suppliers will be exhibiting as part of the Tanzania Tourism Board’s stand, ranging from coastal hotels to upmarket safari lodges.
Tanzania Tourism Board director of marketing Philip Chitaunga said: “Tanzania plans to make the most out of WTM, reflecting the importance of UK market to Tanzania, and the fact that WTM brings together about 50,000 buyers and sellers from all sectors of the tourist industry all over the world. ”
The Egyptian Tourism Authority will re-launch its Red Sea Riviera logo for marketing activities in the UK, as part of plans to extend the Red Sea Riviera brand to other resorts.
Tourism boards from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are each taking individual stands but working together to create an area devoted to East Africa tourism.
Kenya in particular is looking forward to a busy three days as it prepares to build on the success of Born Free’s Year of the Lion which highlighted the plight of lions in the wild to mark the 50th anniversary of the classic film based on Joy Adamson’s book of the same name.
Other confirmed tourism board exhibitors include South Africa, Ghana, Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius and St Helena.
Elsewhere, Go Zambia, a consortium of tour operators, accommodations and activity partners across Zambia, is exhibiting at WTM London for the first time. The country is home to Victoria Falls, one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ethiopa’s Dinknesh Tours and the Egyptian upmarket resort of Sahl Hasheesh are also making their WTM debuts this year.
Buyers and visitors can also learn about new hotel properties in the pipeline, such as the Kempinski Gold Coast City Accra. The hotel in the centre of the Ghanaian capital will be West Africa’s largest luxury spa when it opens in early 2017.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Africa is growing as a tourism destination and this year’s WTM London 2016 is an ideal opportunity for buyers to immerse themselves in this region’s dynamic and varied tourism product.
From established destinations such as Egypt, Morocco and South Africa to the exciting East African collaboration, Africa’s presence continues to grow not only as part of WTM London but also as a significant player in the global travel and tourism industry.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of £22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
WTM London 2016 will be revamped as a three-day event from Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 November, with opening hours extended from 10am – 7pm for all three days.