Saturday 04 October was a momentous day in the fight to stop the senseless poaching of our precious wildlife here in Africa. Globally, 136 cities marched to protest. 38 of those cities were in Africa (18 in South Africa).
At 11h00 SA time, concerned citizens in 18 South African cities took to the streets to join hands in support of the call for governments to change their policies and legislations to criminalise poaching and wildlife trafficking.
The World Travel Market Africa team from the Thebe Reed Exhibitions played their part in the march that took place in the affluent Johannesburg suburb of Sandton.
World Travel Market Africa, Africa’s leading B2B travel and tourism exhibition taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 15 to 17 April 2015, is a proud advocate of responsible tourism and globally the WTM brand is very vocal and present when it comes to this important issue.
“When we heard the march was taking place, there was no question that we had to show up and give our support to this worthy cause.” said Sheree Simpson, WTM Africa’s Exhibition Manager “We feel very strongly about this issue. The bear facts are that if nothing is done to stop the killing of our wildlife; it will not be long before they are gone for good. In our industry, it does not only affect us personally, but on a professional level too. Our flora and fauna makes us stand out above the rest of the world in terms of the natural experiences visitors can enjoy in Africa. Without our natural assets, we are less attractive and in turn, this results in less foreign currency flow into our region. The very currency that we need to maintain the essential work that conservationists can achieve, to maintain and improve our tourism infrastructure and ultimately to keep the people of Africa in tourism jobs”.
The organiser of this event in South Africa, Dex Kotze, who was also part of the international strategic team said that they were encouraged by the turn out in the country for the event and emphasised the importance of well-known and influential brands such as WTM Africa getting behind the cause and showing their support.
The organizing committee of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos aim for global awareness on the severity of wildlife trafficking and gaining global awareness from governments around the world. The internationally recognised march called for all countries to implement a complete ban on commercial international and domestic trade of all endangered wildlife body parts, including ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bone. A memorandum of demand was delivered by cities globally, to the embassies of the 19 countries that are involved in wildlife trafficking. In addition, the organisers proposed amendments to South African legislation and this was delivered to South African embassies overseas and local government departments.
Responsible tourism will be a high priority on the programme at WTM Africa taking place on 15-17 April 2015
To get involved, visit www.wtmafrica.com, we also invite you to like WTM Africa’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wtmafrica
World Travel Market Africa, part of Africa Travel Week which comprises of three co-located industry events namely ILTM Africa, IBTM Africa and WTM Africa, is again fully supported by the City of Cape Town.