Tourism: COVID third wave, Travel Advisory forces organisers to cancel Africa Travel Week live event in South Africa

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The organisers of the Africa Travel Week’s(ATW) connect in the city live event billed for September in Cape Town, South Africa, has taken the decision to cancel the programme as the country is currently experiencing the third wave of the coronavirus coupled with the red list placed on her by the United Kingdom.

According to botswanaunplugged.com, exclusive to ATW virtual exhibitors and a selection of hosted buyers, the live event in Cape Town would have brought stakeholders and media together for an on-the-ground taste of the best the Mother City had to offer, including familiarisation tours and a dedicated conference.

“It was an extremely difficult decision, but one that we felt had to be made sooner rather than later so that we minimised any inconvenience to participants,” says Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Creative Industries.

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“There really is nothing we had hoped for more than to host this live event, however with the environment remaining fluid, the ongoing third COVID wave and the uncertainty as to when South Africa will be removed from ‘red lists’ and travel advisories around the world, we believe that making a decisive decision now will be in the best interests of our guests,” Oberholzer adds.

The City of Cape Town says it hopes to soon be able to host important international events again. “As the City of Cape Town we were looking forward to welcoming international buyers and media to our shores for this crucial live event which would have contributed towards reviving the tourism sector, which has been heavily impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

We continue to work with national and the provincial government to put measures in place to ensure that we can soon host these important international events in a much safer environment,” says Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato.

READ: Africa: South African Tourism appoints Sthembiso Dlamini Acting CEO, as Sisa Ntshona steps down

Africa Travel Week confirms that it will go ahead with hosting its series of virtual master classes and events, including a China Market Outlook, How the Pandemic has changed our priorities in terms of Animal Welfare and Tourism; and Marketing, influencers and blogging – what is worth it?

While the gala African Travel & Tourism Awards event, that was programmed for Connect in the City Live will no longer be held, entries for Africa Travel Week’s Reigniting Africa Award remain open until end June for COVID-19 campaigns that focus on reigniting travel.

“This is an incredible opportunity for any Destination Marketing Company, Tourism Board, Marketing, public relation, communication, advertising and branding firm, Start-up, and Brand and Digital experts to showcase their inspirational campaigns that sought to reignite travel during COVID.

Similarly, if you admire a campaign you feel fits the profile, encourage its organisers to submit their entry before the new deadline,” says Oberholzer.

If you missed the bumper content programme during Africa Travel Week in April, Africa Travel Week has the full content line up of over 40 panel discussions featuring 170 international and Africa speakers on tourism related trends in Africa and beyond, available on demand for your viewing.

Attendees and industry professionals may also remain connected and informed throughout 2021 via atwconnect.com, ATW’s dedicated resource hub jam-packed with free digital tools, industry news and updates.

“We will use the time wisely to prepare for Africa Travel Week from April 11 to 13 2022 and are looking forward to bringing together buyers and exhibitors at a live event in Cape Town to unlock Africa and make travel happen again,” Oberholzer concludes.

 

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