Story: News DESK
After the cancellation of two signature global trade shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South African Tourism is excited to once again host both Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba.
The destination marketing organisation on Wednesday, November 10 confirmed that the flagship business events and leisure trade shows will return next year, with both platforms being hosted as physical events with limited virtual components.
The last Meetings Africa was hosted in February 2020, just before the coronavirus outbreak, when it celebrated its 15th year anniversary. Africa’s Travel Indaba did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to global restrictions on movement and immigration regulations necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meetings Africa will take place from 28th February 2022 to 2nd March 2022 at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, while Africa’s Travel Indaba will be hosted from 2nd to 5th May 2022 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. Both events will have virtual participation capabilities, albeit to a limited extent.
As South African Tourism charges forward with its commitment to the recovery of the tourism sector, the return of these shows will promote and market the country’s business events hosting capability and showcase destination South Africa’s leisure tourism products and experiences. The hosting of these events will contribute to the country’s economy, as delegates from various parts of the world will attend these trade shows.
Over the recent past, South Africa has recorded a significant reduction in the number of new Covid-19 infections. The vaccination program is well under way as part of the South African government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The country aims to have 70% of its adult population fully vaccinated by the end of 2021.
During his address to the nation on 30th September 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa moved South Africa to adjusted alert level 1, reduced the hours of curfew and increased the number of people permitted for gatherings up to 750 people for indoor and 2 000 people for outdoor gatherings providing a major boost for both for leisure travel as well as for the Business Events industry.
“We are very pleased to bring Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba back. The need for physical events and face-to-face encounters is evident in both the industry and the public. The experiences over the last months have shown that on-location events can take place safely and successfully, and demonstrate how important they are for dialogue and exchange. We recently hosted Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit, a hybrid format which was a well-executed and attended bringing the tourism sector together for a common purpose of reigniting the tourism sector,” said Sthembiso Dlamini, Acting CEO of South African Tourism.
While Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit was not a replacement for Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba, it did provide a platform to showcase the African continent’s leisure tourism offerings and business event capabilities.
“Hosting Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba will certainly show our exhibitors, buyers, and the world, that South Africa is open for business and that the South African tourism sector has world-class Covid-19 safety protocols in place to deliver on memorable experiences and events. South Africa is ready and well prepared to welcome delegates from across the world,” Dlamini concluded.