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Africa Travel Week 2024 Opens with a Significant 53% Increase in Attendees

WTM Africa opened its 10th edition yesterday with a remarkable 53% increase in attendees compared to the previous year. This massive surge in participation, with unaudited numbers indicating representation from 88 countries worldwide, signals a bright future for the African tourism industry.

ATW, which comprises shows like the Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA), WTM Africa, and Equal Africa among others, takes place in the host city of Cape Town. The show also features seven networking events and the support of 53 partners, demonstrating the collaborative spirit that drives ATW.

The addition of first-time participants, including Greece, Iran, Switzerland, Lithuania, Tunisia, Benin, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Colombia, and Peru, brings fresh energy and diverse perspectives to the event.

Minister Patricia De Lille, though unable to attend in person, officially opened the conference via video call. She welcomed attendees and highlighted the need for collective efforts to continue the momentum of tourism in Africa: “This year represents a year where we can take measures to break new ground and achieve exponential growth in our numbers.”

Minister De Lille emphasised the importance of safety, sustainability, and expanding tourism beyond well-known destinations to include the hidden gems of lesser-known towns and villages across the continent. She also noted: “Tourism is one of the most significant contributors to our economy, but we can do much more. One of the areas where the department is investing in supporting economic sustainability is through our various tourism incentive programmes.”

A highlight of the opening day were the lively content discussions, where topics like responsible animal interactions sparked crucial ethical debates. Cathrine S. Nyquist, Co-founder of Panthera Africa, made a powerful statement: “Just because it’s legal does not make it right.”

The day also featured a dynamic Responsible Tourism session hosted by Harold Goodwin, World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism Advisor. Three of the five African winners from the 2023 Responsible Tourism Awards shared their inspiring stories, demonstrating the continent’s commitment to sustainable travel practices.

The conference day closed with the inaugural Media Awards, recognising excellence in African travel journalism. Winners included:

  • Sustainability Feature Award: Alexander Okere – Illegal Animal Trade
  • Visual Tourism Award: Kelly Hammond
  • Destination Feature Award: Phoebe Smith
  • Tourism News Award: Adele Mackenzie – Tourism Update

Carol Weaving, Managing Director of RX Africa, commented: “We are incredibly proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Africa Travel Week with such a phenomenal turnout. This growth is a testament to the resilience and rising global appeal of the African tourism industry. We’re excited to contribute to the continued success and positive transformation of travel on the continent.”

Africa Travel Week 2024 serves as a testament to the continent’s vast potential in tourism. It highlights the collective commitment to fostering growth, innovation, and sustainability. As Minister De Lille declared, “We are open for business. We are open for tourists,” extending an invitation to the world to experience the rich diversity and beauty of Africa.

To attend WTM Africa 2024 and bolt-on events visit:

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events and online portals across four continents. The events are Arabian Travel Market, WTM London, WTM Latin America and WTM Africa.

WTM London is the world’s most influential travel & tourism event for the global travel community. The show is the ultimate destination for those seeking a macro view of the travel industry and a deeper understanding of the forces shaping it. WTM London is where influential travel leaders, buyers and high-profile travel companies gather to exchange ideas, drive innovation, and accelerate business outcomes.

Next in-person event: 5 to 7 November 2024 at ExCel London

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 31st year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2023 welcomed over 40,000 attendees and hosted over 30,000 visitors, including more than 2,100 exhibitors and representatives from over 150 countries, across 10 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai

Next in-person event: 6 to 9 May 2024, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai

Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place from 6 to 12 May, within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2024. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes Influencers’ events, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, as well as a series of country forums.

WTM Latin America takes place annually in the city of São Paulo and attracts around 20,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The event offers qualified content together with networking and business opportunities. In this its ninth edition – there have been eight face-to-face events along with a 100% virtual one, which was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America continued to focus on effective business generation, and achieved the advance booking of six thousand meetings that were held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors in 2022.

Next event: 15 to 17 April 2024 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.  In 2022, WTM Africa facilitated more than 7 thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019 and welcomed more than 6 thousand visitors (unaudited), the same number as in 2019.

Next event: 10 to 12 April 2024 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

About ATW Connect:  Africa Travel Week’s digital arm, is a virtual hub packed to the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics in our new monthly webinar series. All with the aim to keep all of us in the travel and tourism industry connected. ATW Connect focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.

WTM Global Hub, is the WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub.

About RX  

RX is a global leader in events and exhibitions, leveraging industry expertise, data, and technology to build businesses for individuals, communities, and organisations. With a presence in 25 countries across 42 industry sectors, RX hosts approximately 350 events annually. RX is committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.  RX empowers businesses to thrive by leveraging data-driven insights and digital solutions. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, visit

About RELX

RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. RELX serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs more than 36,000 people over 40% of whom are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.

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