From Botswana to Mauritius, Senegal to Zambia, Seychelles to Ethiopia and Zimbabwe to Namibia, the continent of Africa was represented through its luxury travel products at ILTM Africa 2016, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa last week.
Hosted Buyers from 28 countries – of which 93% were first time participants – took part in over 4,500 one-to-one appointments with elite sub Saharan African products during the 2.5 days of the event, with networking and business generation taking place across the city. Now in its 4th year, ILTM Africa also hosted international media represented by many of the world’s most influential editors, bloggers and writers representing 8 African source markets.
Virtuoso member Crisney Lane of Mosaic Safaris Austin Texas summed up her first time attendance: “Every meeting has fitted with my portfolio of clients. I am very, very impressed with the show. 100% I will be doing business with these suppliers – I sent off the first proposal last night!”
Managing Director, Prudence Sibuyi of AM lodge Zambia shared her enthusiasm for ILTM Africa as “the best event I have ever attended”. Commenting further she added, “This is our first time. We have done all the other Africa events but this is by far the best, with the majority of new buyers it means they are really interested. It has been money well spent and we will definitely be back in 2017.”
And Veronique Rossouw, Sales & Marketing Manager The Collection by Liz McGrath concluded: “It’s been fantastic. The number of new buyers you have bought to ILTM Africa is amazing. I have had some big appointments from main markets including the UK which is very strong – in fact, every meeting has been very good indeed”.
Several exhibitors took part in presentations to the world’s travel editors with Ethiopia making their first appearance at ILTM Africa and explaining how they are moving into the luxury travel arena. The Silo Cape Town presented its new property as part of The Royal Portfolio and Botswana, celebrating 50 years of independence talked to the media about their commitment to conservation and the launch of it’s new Clarins Spa at Mowana Safari Lodge in Kasane. Senegal highlighted its French influence and how as a democracy they are seen as a stable national territory driven by arts, culture and “legendary hospitality”.
Political Commentator Justice Malala opened Africa Travel Week and ILTM Africa with an overview of today’s Africa. He highlighted Africa’s “unstoppable growth created not only by technology, but also by international peer pressure” adding “you can’t stop the force of Facebook”. He talked too of Africa’s middle classes growing to 1.5bn by 2060 and a strong female power that has an impact on everything that happens on the continent. “At the end of 2014 there were 169,000 millionaires in sub Sahara Africa which will grow by 53% by 2026. Other African nations are also leading the way with “Ethiopia having a GDP of 8.5% and Nigeria on track to be the nation’s powerhouse”. He acknowledged that Africa is a “complicated place to do business and it has its ups and downs”, but he ended by suggesting “keep calm and carry on!”
Minette Scheffers, Personal Travel Designer & Owner of Chic Voyage Netherlands has returned to Africa after an 8 year absence. “I like ILTM Africa, its very personal and intimate, a perfect atmosphere and very inspiring. I am here to get updates and for sure I will be placing business.”
International luxury travel blogger Sonia Graupura talked of the value of ILTM events to her business as a journalist. ‘ILTM Africa has given me imperative information and news that allows me to get the latest updates which I can then share with my followers. One of the highlights for me was the news about The Silo opening in Cape Town, but also I have learned of this country’s culture, and the diversity of their luxury tourism offering from the Winelands to safaris and of course the beaches.”
For further information regarding ILTM Africa and other events in the ILTM Portfolio, visit www.iltm.com.