World Travel Market beckons tourism operators to Cape Town for 2019 conference
The upcoming World Travel Market Africa conference in Cape Town again promises to be a blockbuster event for regional tourism companies and operators. This week the conference organiser said around 5000 tourism professionals are expected over the course of the three-day event
Scheduled for Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 and Friday 12 April, the conference will present industry panel discussions, an exhibition and the awards ceremony for responsible tourism.
Megan Oberholzer, Travel Tourism & Sports Portfolio General Manager at Reed Exhibitions said that the industry has been working hard to embrace their role within the parameters of responsibility for the environments in which they operate – but there’s always more work to be done. “The Business Case for Responsible Tourism conference is an opportunity for role-players in the continental industry to convene and share ideas,”she says. “It’s going to offer an unprecedented opportunity for #WTMA19 to drive positive change in the way visitors explore our great continent”.
Two back-to-back panel discussions take place in the Conference Theatre on Wednesday 10 April from 14:30. The first examines the topic: “How can Travel and Tourism best reduce the carbon emissions of our industry?”. The panel, moderated by WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor Dr Harold Goodwin, includes Calvin Boia (Marketing & Brand Manager: Verde Hotels); Rene Laks (Managing Director, Sub Saharan Africa: Solarus); Andrea Nicholas (Managing Director: Green Tourism, UK) and Lorraine Jenks (Founder CEO Hotelstuff/Greenstuff).
The second discussion: “What should the tourism sector be doing to effectively promote wildlife conservation?” is also moderated by Dr Goodwin. Panellists include Kruger National Park Managing Executive Glenn Phillips; Former Fair Trade Tourism Managing Director Jane Edge and Endangered Wildlife Trust Head of Conservation Harriet Davies-Mostert.
The African Responsible Tourism Awards will follow this debate, from 16:45-17:30, in the Conference Theatre. The awards are an Africa-wide platform to celebrate the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences – those which contribute to preserving, respecting and benefitting both destinations and local people.
For 2019, the public have been able to nominate tourism businesses and organisations they feel are deserving of awards, while tourism organisations can also enter themselves. Dr Goodwin said that the opportunity to hear from African Responsible Tourism award winners is one not to be missed.
World Travel Market Africa was hosted first in 2014, also in Cape Town. Since its inception, it has established a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.