After the cancellation of two signature global trade shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, South African Tourism is excited to once again host both Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba. The destination marketing organization 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 Feb. 28 2022 to March 2, 2022 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, while Africa’s Travel Indaba will be hosted May 2-5 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 moves 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 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.
South Africa has recently recorded a significant reduction in the number of new COVID-19 infections. The vaccination program is well under way as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The country aims to have 70 percent of its adult population fully vaccinated by the end of 2021.
During his address to the nation on Sept. 30, 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. This provided 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,” said Sthembiso Dlamini, acting CEO of South African Tourism. “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.”
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,” Dlamini said. “South Africa is ready and well prepared to welcome delegates from across the world.”
Registration details for delegate participation for these trade shows will be announced soon. For more information, visit www.meetingsafrica.co.za or www.indaba-southafrica.co.za. For more information on South Africa, visit www.southafrica.net.
(To read the whole story, visit Insider Travel Report)