The only travel show of its kind in Africa, the World Travel Market (WTM) Africa Conference is back in Cape Town for its 2019 edition and will generate myriad job and investment opportunities for the city.

The City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, says more than $410-million can be expected to be generated at this year’s conference.

“Statistics have revealed that a phenomenal $410-million was generated over the three days of business on site last year and all indications are that the potential for this year’s show is even more promising.”

In 2018, more than 5 800 industry professionals from over 70 countries across the globe attended the show. It is expected that the number of travel professionals attending this year will be 17% higher than last year.

The WTM Africa Conference. Twitter, the Vegan Rainbow

Vos says the City is making strides with its increase in business tourism; “Our city has played host to some of the world’s most significant business gatherings such as the Mining Indaba, Africa Oil Week, Africa Utility week, the Manufacturing Indaba and many others.”

Cape Town has been named the top City in Africa for Business Tourism at the International Congress and Convention Association for several consecutive years. In addition, the city was voted the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination at the 2018 World Travel Awards.

Vos says these events are crucial for “promoting job opportunities and developing the local and South African economy to support our communities”. 

Entrepreneurs are also given a platform to network and get their products across to a new range of buyers or investors.

In an effort to bolster business tourism, the City has funded the Convention Bureau, an entity within Wesgro which is actively promoting the City as a global village. Through the process of bidding, the Convention Bureau focuses on growing and attracting meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions to Cape Town.

For the current financial year, the Convention Bureau has secured 30 bids. In the 2017/2018 financial year, the City hosted 52 international association meetings and 34 000 delegates.

Vos says the City is committed to supporting all events and businesses by eliminating red tape to encourage more investment into the City and attract more major events.

“My commitment is to ensure that Cape Town continues to be the go-to city on the African continent and globally for business, trade and tourism.”

Picture: WTM Africa, Twitter

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.