Strangers to the tourism industry could be easily forgiven for assuming that tourism players have gone a little mad recently. We have all been trying to come to terms with what to make of the sudden plethora of travel related trade shows in South Africa. For just over two weeks there will literally be non-stop meetings taking place in the tourism arena beginning with ILTM and IBTM in Cape Town and ending with Indaba in Durban.
To be more specific here is what the schedule includes –
Africa Travel Week – 28th April to the 3rd of May – run by Thebe Reed Exhibitions and made up of
ILTM Africa ( International Luxury Tourism Market ) 28th 29th and 30th April 2014 – Venue Cape Town International Convention Centre
IBTM Africa ( Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Expo ) 28th 29th and 30th April 2014 – Venue Cape Town International Convention Centre
WTM Africa ( World Travel Market ) 2nd and 3rd May 2014 – Venue Cape Town International Convention Centre
“2 = 1” – A partnership between SA Tourism and Beyond Luxury Media and made up of
“We are Africa” of Beyond Luxury Media – 5th 6th 7th and 8th May 2014 – Cape Town Stadium
and “Indaba” of SA Tourism – 10th 11th and 12th May 2014 – Durban International Convention Centre
In past years the industry has gotten by with one major show being Indaba, once known to many as the Great Tourism Indaba. In more recent times the Indaba Travel show has lost much of its shine and enjoyment factor. There has been a gradual decline in the various aspects of this show from the level of Exhibitors, to the level of buyers, to the professional running of the event. Many of the exhibitors have been vocal in their concern that this show has been heading for disaster.
The organisers seemed oblivious to the warnings and the decline continued. As happens in any free market economy the cycle of rise and decline allows new players to enter the space. We have now seen the entry of a number of new players and the result this year is literally a proverbial “dog fight” for territory.
As I write this we are through the first round and have seen the Africa Travel Week come and go. This is a unique and exciting event that has seen a world renowned brand Reed Exhibitions combining, via a strategic partnership, with South Africa’s own Thebe Exhibitions to form Thebe Reed Exhibitions.
Reed has been responsible for producing world class events around the world in many of the different markets that make up modern tourism with firm ground in Business Travel through the BTM brands as well as LTM brands having been built on the original WTM brand of London. The glue in this new relationship is one of South Africa’s leading business ladies Carol Weaving. Carol has had a personal effect on the success of the Thebe Exhibitions in recent times which include successful SA business shows such as Decorex and MediaTech.
It would seem from the feedback from both the buyers and the exhibitors of both ILTM and IBTM Africa that both of these shows were a resounding success. I did not attend these first two shows but was pleasantly surprised by the standards across the board of what I saw at the WTM section of the Africa Travel Week.
The refreshing effect of being in Cape Town for this event brings something new to the table. Cape Town is without doubt an iconic city and the general running of this city seems to be of a high standard when compared to some of its sister cities in South Africa. There is a working public transport system that allows easy and seemingly safe access to most parts of the CBD and waterfront areas.
“We are Africa” starts today and we look forward to the feedback from this event.
Editor 5 Victoriafalls24
5 May 2014