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Countdown to WTM Africa 2015 begins

Countdown to WTM Africa 2015 begins (Forimmediaterelease.net) With just under a month to go, the City of Cape Town is gearing up for Africa’s largest B2B inbound and outbound travel trade show, WTM® Africa. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) between 15 and 17 April 2015, this year WTM® Africa will be offering a vast array of business opportunities for key travel professionals and international buyers. Included in the much anticipated 2015 program is the Responsible Tourism in Destinations Conference, Responsible Tourism Awards and the WTM® Buyers Club to name a few.

Open to all travel professionals working in the African travel industry, WTM® Africa is the ideal meeting place for travel professionals and buyers, allowing them to engage in real quality business. The WTM® Buyers Club attracts top-quality buyers and is renowned for generating sound business leads. Buyers’ Club Members primarily comprise of tour operators, travel agents, wholesalers and private travel arrangers with purchasing power.

The WTM Africa Hosted Buyer Programme provides a cost and time effective way for top level decision makers to source new suppliers, discover new destinations, be inspired, as well as network and connect with the African travel industry. Carefully selected Hosted Buyers can look forward to a variety of benefits at WTM Africa such as a personalized diary of appointments, a substantial financial contribution towards the cost of their flights, up to 4 nights’ accommodation, exclusive networking events, access to VIP lounge and post event tours.

“The WTM® Africa Hosted Buyer Programme has been extremely well received this year with increased interest from a wide variety of key buyers. With 80% new Hosted Buyers and 20% increase to date on 2014’s pre-scheduled appointments, the opportunity for economic growth in both local and international markets is huge,” says Hosted Buyer Manager, Paulina Lund.

The Responsible Tourism in Destinations Conference will be running alongside WTM® Africa 2015. A core theme and focus for this year’s show is responsible tourism and how the travel industry can help improve the impact their sectors have on social development and improvement within their country, on their continent and globally. The conference presents an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved in Cape Town, South Africa and elsewhere around the world, to document good practices applied by different producer groups, and set the agenda for change for the next 10 years.

Also included in WTM® Africa’s exciting line-up is the African Responsible Tourism Awards. These awards aim to celebrate the efforts made by individuals, organizations and destinations on the continent, and to inspire change in the African tourism industry. The categories for the 2015 awards include; best for poverty reduction, best for beach tourism, best destination for responsible tourism, best for engaging people&culture, best for wildlife conservation and best blog for responsible tourism.

“The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM have been a great success at World Travel Market over the past 12 years. I’m delighted that WTM Africa will be hosting The African Responsible Tourism Awards. Tourism is central to the continent’s economy, which makes it all the more vital that the African travel and tourism industry acts responsibly to preserve and protect its unrivalled natural resources. WTM Africa is ideal to highlight the best responsible practices in the African travel industry,” says WTM Africa’s Commercial Director – Sugen Pillay.

Apart from an outstanding 3 day event programme, WTM® Africa is proud to boast partnerships with key, influential African associations such The Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO), South African Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC) and The South African National Biodiversity institute (SANBI).

KATO is Kenya's foremost tourism trade association, representing the interests of over 250 of the leading and most experienced professional tour operators in Kenya. SAYTC is a non-profit, membership-driven organization that aims to market South Africa globally as a preferred youth tourism destination. SAYTC represents operators within the backpacking, education, tours and transport and volunteering sectors. SANBI manages the National Botanical gardens as windows to SA's biodiversity for enjoyment and education. The gardens are picture perfect havens for biodiversity and are situated in different parts of country.

Pillay says, “Our partnership with associations such as KATO and SAYTC and government agencies such as SANBI are pivotal in furthering the African travel industry on a global stage. We are glad to be providing the ideal platform for these organizations to increase brand awareness and network with relevant industry stakeholders.”

WTM Africa forms part of Africa Travel Week which comprises of three co-located industry events namely International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Africa, International Business Travel Market (IBTM) and WTM Africa.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lloyd Orr Communications, Tel: +27 11 702 9601, Shelley Martin, Shelley@lloydorr.com ; Chantal Nieuwenhuizen, Chantal@lloydorr.com

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