Over the past few weeks, the team at Reed Exhibitions Africa has had their ear to the ground, catching up with all the key players and listening to the travel industry’s needs, in this uncertain time. And, what they found was that the industry needs to connect with each other more than ever.
It is for this very reason, that Reed Exhibitions has revitalised Africa Travel Week (ATW). The rebrand promotes the beauty of the African continent and invites the “world to return home.” ATW comprises World Travel Market Africa (WTMA); International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTMA); EQUAL Africa; ibtm Africa; Travel Forward and the African Travel and Tourism Industry Awards.
Africa Travel Week (ATW) will bring these premier B2B travel trade entities under one roof at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 7 – 9 April 2021. The event will be more important than ever for the industry to write business following a devastating halt due to COVID-19.
In parallel, ATW has been working very hard to bring you ATW Connect – a virtual hub bursting at the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics.
“Events as we know them have been disrupted and we have been forced to embrace new solutions for our partners. Adversity often helps us to foster innovation and our current reality has prompted the rapid development of online platforms,” says Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director for ATW.
She goes on to say: “ATW Connect is full of information about how to survive – and grow – travel-related businesses at a time when at least 146 countries have imposed travel restrictions for the foreseeable future,” she says. “This means that 91% of the world’s population (7.1 billion people), currently live in countries where borders are shut, or only open for essential travel”.
ATW Connect will focus on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism; luxury travel; LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/Business Travel sector, as well as travel technology. A key aim of ATW is to provide ways for travel industry professionals to support each other and share vital information that will allow the industry to survive this tumultuous time – and be ready to grow the industry again when travel restrictions are lifted.
“We believe that ATW Connect will prove to be a vital digital resource for the industry, and will continue to serve as an important touchpoint that will complement ATW events, in future,” says Oberholzer.
The hub will feature four sections:
- Knowledge Centre contains must-read articles with updates and trends from key industry professionals and experts focusing on LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, business travel, responsible travel and travel technology.
- Industry Connect is a place to share positive news from travel professionals and will contain a library of videos from industry speakers and professionals, offering information and inspiration.
- Destination Focus keeps the travel dream alive by putting a spotlight on various destinations that form part of the ATW family.
- Armchair Travel showcases the beauty of Africa and ATW exhibitors’ incredible destinations and products.
ATW Connect, in collaboration with travel content and market agency, Big Ambitions, will host its first virtual series on Thursday, 7 April. Bring your brains and join the first in ATW Connect’s #INTHEKNOW virtual event series, which will tackle crucial problems the industry is facing, right now. Save your spot, here.
“What the current situation has highlighted is that nothing will ever truly replace the importance and benefits of face-to-face interaction – particularly in our industry. We hope that the portal will become a go-to resource for the industry to access critical information and share creative ways to remain relevant,” concludes Oberholzer.