On the sidelines of this week’s Africa Travel Week, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, met with tourism service bodies from across the continent to discuss initiatives that allow for greater travel and trade opportunities with Cape Town.  Read more below:

Africa Travel Week (ATW) is the continent’s largest travel trade show and is packed with events covering a variety of topics. It is the first major in-person travel show hosted on the African continent since the start of the pandemic.

‘ATW is undoubtedly one of the most important events on the tourism industry’s calendar. Not only does it allow industry players to show off their products and services, learn insights, and network, but the event acts as a major revenue-generator for the industry. In 2019, just three days of on-site business resulted in a phenomenal $451 million in revenue,’ said Alderman Vos.

Excluding South Africa, 104 organisations from all across the continent exhibited at the event, including new participants such as Sierra Leone. ATW brings together the world’s top travel professionals, buyers, exhibitors and media for a showcase of the continent’s wide-ranging tourism offering.

‘One of my biggest priorities at this year’s event was to go out on the floor and take the next step in helping the City of Cape Town create stronger connections with cities and countries around Africa for the mutual benefit of African economies.

‘Foreign Africans comprised 74,3% of international visitors to South Africa in 2019. And currently, there are 13 routes out of Cape Town International Airport to 10 destinations around Africa. Let’s build on our relationships and show that Cape Town is a proudly African city.

‘The City will look to connect Cape Town with more African destinations via the Air Access initiative within Wesgro.

‘This includes signing more African sister city agreements like those done with Accra in Ghana, and Bujumbura in Burundi. All this started with a request to the City of Cape Town’s International Relations Department to work towards finalising a partnership with Nairobi. The Kenyan capital is the economic and tech powerhouse of East Africa.

‘The country’s carrier, Kenya Airways, currently flies five times per week between Nairobi and Cape Town precisely because of the demand for travel between our two cities and regions,’ said Alderman Vos.

Africa is undergoing steady economic growth, development and transformation with tourism playing a leading role in terms of job creation and as a catalyst of opportunities for other industries.

‘Many untapped opportunities are waiting to be explored. My goal is to see more Cape Town businesses exporting into Africa, to help them employ more people and help our economy grow,’ said Alderman Vos.

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