Virtual Travel Show OurAfrica.Travel 2021 Reports Back
It’s a wrap and by all accounts, OurAfrica.Travel 2021 was another overwhelming success.
Almost 24,000 online meetings took place over two weeks (1 to 12 March 2021), connecting 1177 travel buyers from around the globe to 340 exhibitors from Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. There was no cost to buyers and on average, taking part in the show cost exhibitors only R48/US$3 per meeting.
Are virtual travel shows here to stay? ‘At least for the current foreseeable future, and hopefully in conjunction with our traditional, physical trade shows’, says co-organizer Storm, Napier.
As a travel show, OurAfrica.Travel is extremely cost-effective and at the very least, carbon neutral. Imagine if more than 1000 show participants had to fly to meet in person. For example, someone flying return economy from Cape Town to London Heathrow generates an average of 5,848 kg of CO2 climate impact, which equates to needing to plant approximately 244 trees to offset this flight. A passenger flying from Cape Town to Los Angeles return would generate an average of 10,644 kg of CO2 climate impact, which equates to 444 trees needing to be planted to off-set this flight.
Says co-organiser Allie Hunt: ‘Overall, travel bookings are slowly starting to pick up. The USA is experiencing a huge increase in its domestic market, with international travel set to pick up momentum later in the year.
I truly believe that the US market will for the foreseeable future, be the saviour of tourism in South Africa and the rest of the continent. Our exhibitors agree that there is keen interest from the American market and now more than ever before, Africa is seen as a bucket list destination. In many cases, these once-in-a-lifetime trips with loved ones are being brought forward as people all over the world adjust to life in the wake of the pandemic.’
She continued to say that the US market is seeking ‘more authentic experiences’ and are also attracted to outdoor, safari experiences and remote locations which can accommodate social distancing more successfully than other, higher density destinations. ‘It’s likely that the over-50’s with more disposable income will be the first to travel once they have received their vaccines. This is of particular good news for the luxury travel industry
‘Despite extremely trying times, OurAfrica.Travel 2021 has brought a much-needed flicker of hope and positivity to the African and Indian Ocean Islands travel industry. Exhibitor and buyer feedback indicate there is an increase in inquiries over the last six weeks in some key source markets. With vaccinations picking up pace globally and a combined pent-up demand, the desire to travel is good news for both Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands,’ Storm Napier concluded.