The 8th annual Spotlight on Africa & Indian Ocean Islands roadshow will focus on Europe’s emerging tourism markets of the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary from Tuesday 26 March to Friday 29 March 2019.
The Spotlight Europe roadshow will include Prague, Budapest and two cities in Poland, namely Warsaw and Krakow.
The roadshow is organised by highly experienced tourism stalwarts Houston Travel Marketing, a member of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) and Travel Advance Prague, a member of the Africa Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA).
“Krakow, as the second most important city in Poland, is home to many outbound tour operators and agents and we expect to attract trade from other southern Poland cities such as Katowice, Rzeszow, Wroclaw and Bielsko -Biala,” says Derek Houston.
They are also planning to host important Africa tour operators from Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, and Bosnia to attend the Budapest and Prague workshops.
“When it comes to selecting delegates for the roadshow workshops, our aim is ‘Quality more than Quantity’ and we target attendance by senior executives from all the major outbound tour operators, travel agencies and incentive travel companies who sell Africa,” says Houston. “Last years Spotlight Europe roadshow workshops attracted 43 Buyers from 33 companies in Prague and 37 buyers in Warsaw from 31 companies.”
The Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary are former communist countries, whose economies are fast catching up with the rest of Europe.
A combination of business-friendly environments and educated, hardworking labour forces have attracted considerable investment, allowing these countries to avoid the worst of the global downturn and retain – in the case of Poland and Czech Republic – stable and strong currencies.
The buying power of people from these countries has increased at rates dramatically higher than in Western Europe.
In the 1990s only a small section of citizens, principally in their thirties and forties, could afford to purchase luxury goods, including long haul outbound travel.
“Now, this first generation of affluent citizens has grown in size and reached their fifties and sixties, having accumulated wealth, and behind them is a new generation of wealthy people in their thirties and forties. So, with the passing of a generation since the revolutions of 1989, a whole new market for exotic holidays has developed.
“Sub-Saharan Africa has done little to promote itself in these countries, and lack of awareness is the greatest challenge we face. Consumers are looking for new winter sun destinations. Zanzibar has seen a dramatic increase in arrivals from this region, and the Kenyan coast has also witnessed a recovery in recent years.
“The Indian Ocean is already an established destination here, and knowledge of the rest of Africa is growing. South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania have become popular destinations for the MICE sector,” concludes Houston.
More information on the roadshow and an interesting Market Analysis