12 Apr 2024

WTM Africa in Cape Town - a success for ATTA®


We spent three wonderful days in Cape Town at the WTM Africa with our ATTA® members. Our large ATTA® stand at the Cape Town International Convention Centre was busy with activity, high-quality meetings, and lots of networking opportunities.

This year's WTM Africa saw a significant 53% increase in attendance compared to the previous year. Unofficial figures suggest participation from a whopping 88 countries worldwide, highlighting the growing momentum behind African tourism.

ATTA® at the heart of the action

ATTA® members attending the show enjoyed a custom-built stand, in a central location, sharing and connecting with colleagues. We also hosted a networking event at the exclusive Rockefeller Hotel on Wednesday evening. Sponsored by The Diamond Works, this event offered a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow industry leaders and forge valuable partnerships.

For a highlight video of the event, click here.


Day 1 Highlight: Collaboration, sustainability, and a global stage

The energy crackled from the start at WTM Africa. Here are some key takeaways from Day 1:

  • A message of unity: South African Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lille delivered a virtual opening address, emphasising the importance of continued collaboration for the industry's success.  She highlighted safety, sustainability, and expanding tourism beyond traditional destinations.
  • A global gathering: This year's event welcomed a diverse range of first-time participants, including countries like Greece, Iran, and Peru. This broader representation promises a stimulating exchange of ideas.
  • Responsible tourism in focus: Thought-provoking discussions tackled important topics like responsible animal interactions, sparking crucial conversations about ethical practices.
  • Celebrating excellence: The day concluded with the inaugural Media Awards, recognising outstanding achievements in African travel journalism. Three of the five African winners from the 2023 Responsible Tourism Awards also shared their stories, showcasing the continent's commitment to sustainable travel practices.

Day 2 & 3 Highlights: ATTA® members shine

Day 2 and 3 were a whirlwind of activity, showcasing the power of collaboration and innovation within the African travel and tourism industry.

The ATTA® stand continued to buzz with activity, highlighting the strong appetite for intra-African travel.  This year's presence allowed East African members to connect with both international and local South African buyers, fostering valuable partnerships.

These two days were also packed with high-impact meetings alongside thought-provoking panel discussions, and meaningful connections held at the show. The conference hall was brimming with industry leaders, innovators, and travel enthusiasts from across the globe, united by their passion for African tourism.

Responsible tourism, AI solutions & the rise of Chinese tourism

Responsible tourism takes Centre stage: WTM Africa 2024's Responsible Tourism Conference kicked off on Day 2, sparking crucial conversations on topics like positive impact tourism and the impact of certifications.

AI offers a lifeline in the staffing crisis:  A timely presentation addressed the industry's staffing challenges by exploring the potential of AI solutions. Automation, virtual assistants, and data-driven staff allocation offer promising solutions to alleviate pressure and enhance guest experiences.

Africa prepares for a surge of Chinese tourists:  Travel expert Marcus Lee highlighted the vast potential of the Chinese outbound market, outlining strategies for African destinations to attract these lucrative visitors. With China projected to send 130 million travellers abroad in 2024, Africa stands poised to benefit significantly.

Bridging the gap:  An insightful session explored strategies for closing Africa's connectivity and mobility infrastructure gap.  Unlocking access, improved transportation links, and attracting investment are crucial steps towards driving tourism and trade advancement.

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