Plett Tourism attends WTM Africa 2022 in Cape Town
Plett Tourism participated alongside other local tourism offices from the Garden Route & Klein Karoo on the Wesgro stand. WTM Africa 2022, held from April 11 to 13 in Cape Town, was a huge success with preliminary numbers indicating that pre-scheduled appointments for 2022 exceeded the number of appointments booked at the show in 2019.
WTM Africa 2022 facilitated over seven thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments (both online and in person), which saw an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019, while the number of visitors remained on par with 2019 figures, with more than six thousand visitors in 2022, according to the unaudited numbers. A hugely positive happening for WTM’s first in-person event post pandemic and a fitting reflection of an industry that wants to get back to work.
“The 2022 edition of WTM Africa and Africa Travel Week was the first inbound and outbound travel trade show of this magnitude held on the African continent since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2022. The undeniable success of the show, as reflected in the preliminary numbers, is a clear indication that the industry was in desperate need of a face-to-face platform to reconnect, conclude deals and kickstart the recovery of the industry,” says Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism, and Creative Industries, RX Africa.
WTM Africa featured 187 speakers in over 63 content sessions which highlighted important topics such as inclusivity, diversity, travel technology and investment. Exhibitors, speakers, and buyers from both the inbound and outbound tourism and travel industry were invited to enable a platform of growth to and from the African continent. Twelve international countries were represented, 20 African countries and seven out of the nine South African provinces were present.
The vast majority (87%) of buyers were new buyers who had never been to Africa Travel Week before with buyers from established source markets as well as new source markets like Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. WTM Africa 2022 saw a great number of new exhibitors, including, amongst others, the National Tourism Board of Sierra Leone and the Korea Tourism Organisation, who all saw great value in the show and have expressed their interest to return to WTM Africa in 2023.(**as reported by Big Ambitions, www.bigambitions.co.za)
Plettenberg Bay was represented by Patty Butterworth, Plett Tourism CEO, and Porche September, Plett Tourism Travel & Trade Consultant.
It was a successful WTM with Plett Tourism interacting with more than 100 travel trade, media, and government officials. Following directly on the heels of WTM, Plett Tourism has already organised and hosted educational trips with select tour operators and media houses and have several more confirmed for the remainder of 2022.
For more information about plans for Plett Tourism and WTM Africa 2023, contact Patty Butterworth, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Porche September shares her first travel show experience
Are you familiar with the phrase “being thrown into the deep end”? Well, that is exactly what happened to me. I just turned 30, and there I was sitting in front of a total stranger with what felt like not having a clue of what I should be doing.
After introducing myself to our first tour operator, I found myself more at ease, and the words started flowing out naturally, like water from a fountain. And just like that, I had what is called an out-of-body experience. I saw what I was doing and how much more I could be doing. I saw where this tourism road may take me if remain focused on this path.
Now I know this sounds like a fairy tale, but I assure you it is not. I am sharing my first trade show experience, while at the same time seemingly on a journey of self-discovery.
I attended the WTM Africa exhibition in Cape Town from 11 – 13 April 2022, which was the first WTM trade show held since the pandemic.
It was one of a few firsts for me during this time. I attended my first cocktail networking function at the Radisson Red Hotel. I fell asleep and woke up in a hotel with a view of both Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. I made a few new friends, both local and international. I played an important role in an Epic Gin Tasting experience, where I was mostly tasting of course. JK!
I must say, with all the new things I experienced, and the new people I met, the highlight of my trip was having the opportunity to board an aircraft. For all the frequent flyers and veteran travellers out there, you might think this to be frivolous, I can assure you otherwise – being up in the air and seeing everything from above was the most awe-inspiring and freeing feeling I have ever known. One experience that I am still ‘geeking out’ over to this day.
I experienced more in three days than I have ever done in my 30 years. Here’s to looking forward to another 30 more years of fabulous experiences!
Congratulations on your first WTM Africa, Porche, may each year bring about new experiences for you and may your passion for the tourism industry continue to grow!