Get up to date with the latest MICE – Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Events news out of Africa with this weekly news wrap-up.

MICE industry has bounced back

South Africa’s MICE industry has bounced back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gary Koetser, CEO of Century City Conference Centre and Hotels in Cape Town.

In an interview with Tourism Update, Koetser said the MICE industry “took a hell of a knock during COVID”, and that there was much talk at the time that conferencing would never be the same again.However, in retrospect, there were many positives for MICE that came out of COVID, Koetser believes. One of these positives was that people realised the critical need for in-person meetings and interactions.

Franschhoek gears up for Bastille Festival

Franschhoek gears up for popular Bastille Festival Franschhoek Tourism has announced that its Bastille celebration, in partnership with global financial services business, Prescient, will take place at Franschhoek High School’s rugby field on July 13-14. As Franschhoek is also known as the Cape’s French outpost, the weekend festival will highlight gastronomic delights, exquisite wines, and all things French. This year’s event will introduce a venue change aimed at enhancing the comfort of guests amidst the anticipated crowds and sold-out attendance.

Uganda prepares for POATE 2024

Uganda is preparing for The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE), an annual tourism and travel trade show that is organised by the Uganda Tourism Board. Each year, the expo brings together tourism value chain actors and stakeholders under the Business to business and Business to Consumer formats, for networking opportunities, business deals.

POATE 2024 will be held at the brand-new venue – Speke Resort and Convention Centre in Munyonyo, Kampala from 23rd to 25th May 2024. For the eighth time, Uganda’s doors will be open to 70 hosted buyers, over 5,000 trade visitors and consumers during the three-day expo in the heart of Kampala. Both Leisure and MICE tourism will blend seamlessly, with a direction skewed towards global emerging trends.

ANEW Hotel & Convention Centre OR Tambo Johannesburg opens

The ANEW Hotel & Convention Centre OR Tambo Johannesburg marks an important step into the large-scale conferencing and convention sector for the group. The property – previously known as The Lakes Hotel & Conference Centre – is on the banks of Swan Lake in Benoni on the East Rand, and will join the group’s portfolio on July 1.

Positioned just 10km from OR Tambo International Airport, the new property’s key highlight is its conferencing and events venues. With 16 venues capable of accommodating up to 4,000 delegates, the property is a great choice for conventions, expos, conferences, product launches, weddings, and gala events. The versatile venue spaces are designed to cater for a variety of occasions, offering state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology.

Essence of Africa date change

Africa’s newest travel trade event, Essence of Africa, has switched to a December date to avoid coinciding with the Magical Kenya Travel Expo taking place from October 2-4.

Essence of Africa, developed by On Show Solutions in collaboration with ATTA’s events division Experience Africa Events, will now take place from December 2-4 at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi. The decision to secure new dates in December came after careful consideration and consultation with the event’s advisory board, comprising prominent figures in the African tourism industry, said ATTA President Nigel Vere Nicoll, President of ATTA.

Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2024

The Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) is gearing up for the 2024 Event and Kenya Tourism Board looks forward to welcoming you on 2nd – 4th October 2024 at the Uhuru Gardens National Monument and Museum in Nairobi.

This year’s expo, will showcase over 300 exhibitors and 3,000 tourism professionals providing an unparalleled opportunity for industry leaders and stakeholders to ignite new collaborations and opportunities within East Africa’s thriving tourism sector.

To register as an Exhibitor, click here. To be considered as a buyer, click here.​

WTM Africa 2025 Save the Date

WTM Africa bids farewell to the remarkable 2024 edition, filled with fruitful business meetings, engaging conversations, captivating speakers, and joyful reunions.

As WTM Africa looks towards the future, they ask you to mark your calendar now for next year’s event to be held in Cape Town from 9-11 April. You can register your interest here.

Record-breaking WTM Africa 2024

World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) wrapped up its 2024 edition with record-breaking numbers, demonstrating a significant surge in global interest towards African travel and tourism. This year saw a 40% jump in buyers compared to 2023, solidifying the event’s status as the continent’s leading travel trade show.

WTM Africa 2024 hosted 705 exhibitors and 5,752 industry professionals from 99 countries. The buyer attendance was notably diverse, featuring strong representation from emerging markets like Greece, Philippines, Switzerland, Singapore, Lithuania, New Zealand, Ghana, China, Japan, and Argentina. This influx of new buyers contributed to the impressive 10,505 pre-scheduled meetings conducted during the event. This expanded reach promises increased investment and awareness for African destinations worldwide.

“The enormous increase in buyers highlights the growing confidence and investment in Africa as a compelling travel destination,” said Carol Weaving, Managing Director, RX Africa. “WTM Africa is a serious business event, and our goal is to facilitate connections that lead to tangible growth for the African tourism sector. This year’s success underscores that commitment, and we are thrilled to see such a positive response.”

A highlight of WTM Africa 2024 was the inaugural African Media Awards, recognising exceptional reporting on tourism, travel, and hospitality in Africa. The awards celebrated the crucial role journalists play in promoting the continent’s destinations and experiences.

Durban ready for Indaba

The 23 April 2024 saw the official launch of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 and with just under three weeks to go, the show has sold out floor space.

Set to take place from May 13 to 16 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC), the event draws thousands of participants, including exhibitors from various African nations and buyers worldwide. It is widely seen as not only a platform for business transactions but also emphasises capacity building and knowledge sharing, benefiting all attendees, including smaller and emerging businesses in the industry.

The participation of twenty-six African countries, solidifies its status as a proudly Pan African show. Furthermore, 120 SMMEs will be hosted at the Hidden Gems zone in collaboration with the Department of Tourism.

Delivering the keynote address at the media launch, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Amos ‘Fish’ Mahlalela, highlighted that the show served as the premier platform for showcasing Africa’s diverse tourism offerings and experiences.

“The trade show holds immense significance for the tourism sector and the broader economy. The economic and cultural impact of this trade show is central to the success of our continent.”

Preceding the main event is the Business Opportunities Networking Day (BONDay) on May 13, offering invaluable networking opportunities, thought leadership discussions, and insights into global trends.

Partners for the event and provincial hosts, KwaZulu-Natal Tourism, have organised pre- and post-tours for selected delegates, including media and buyers, to showcase various experiences and products.

Siboniso Duma, MEC Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, said, “We are excited to welcome Africa’s Travel Indaba back to KwaZulu Natal again in 2024. The province has adequate accommodation establishments within a reasonable travel distance to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, the venue for the event.”

eThekwini Municipality Chairperson of Economic Development and Planning Committee, Councillor Thembo Ntuli emphasised the significance of Indaba for Durban: “Indaba is an instrumental platform for the tourism industry which is firmly on the road to recovery. The city’s economy will benefit immensely from hosting this three-day-long trade showcase as hotel occupancy is expected to be between 85% and 95%.”

CEO of the ICC, Lindiwe-Rakherebe, said, “With our state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated staff, we are ready to welcome participants from across the globe and make Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 a resounding success.”

WTM Africa 2024 opens with a significant 53% increase in attendees

Record-breaking attendance marks Africa Travel Week’s triumphant return! This year’s event in Cape Town shattered expectations with a staggering 53% surge in attendees from 88 nations worldwide. This remarkable growth positions Africa as a formidable force in the global tourism landscape. The addition of first-time participants from diverse destinations like Greece, Iran, and Peru infuses the event with fresh perspectives and boundless opportunities for collaboration.

Engaging discussions on responsible animal interactions and inspiring stories from Responsible Tourism Award winners further solidified Africa’s dedication to ethical travel practices. Carol Weaving, Managing Director of RX Africa, commented: “We are incredibly proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Africa Travel Week with such a phenomenal turnout. This growth is a testament to the resilience and rising global appeal of the African tourism industry.”

With such a resounding start, Africa Travel Week 2024 promises to be a landmark event, fostering economic growth, cross-cultural connections, and positioning Africa as a must-visit destination for responsible, awe-inspiring adventures. Editors won’t want to miss covering this transformative gathering.

Check out all the photos from the event on our Facebook page here.

5th Malawi International Tourism Expo to be Held 25-27 April

The Warm Heart of Africa welcomes you to the 5th edition of “Takulandirani” Malawi International Tourism Expo (MITE) to be held from 25th to 27th April, 2024 at the Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. Registration is ongoing for this year’s Malawi International Tourism Expo (MITE2023). Read more about the event here.

MICE is a $1 trillion market Africa should be taking advantage of

The global MICE travel market is expected to reach US$1 trillion in 2024, providing significant opportunities for destinations to take advantage of. As the second fastest growing economy in the world, with unique experiences and attractions, Africa has the potential to take advantage of a number of emerging trends in this market. Speaking during World Travel Market held in Cape Town last week, Nick Nagle, Marketing Manager for IBTM world, said Africa currently accounts for 10% of the global MICE share, but destinations could be doing more to market themselves.

Africa’s Eden Hosted Buyer Show Heads to Zambia

Africa’s Eden, the gateway to the tourism network of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, will host its 2024 Hosted Buyer Show at Ciêla Resort & Spa in Lusaka from April 22-25. The event places a particular focus on African buyers from southern Africa, East Africa, Indian Ocean Islands as well as some from West Africa. The exhibitors are all Africa’s Eden members. Click here to access all Africa’s Eden trade shows taking place this year.

Essence of Africa Exhibitor Registration Opens

Exhibitor registrations are now open for Essence of Africa, Africa’s International Buyer Forum, an innovative meetings-driven tourism event designed to facilitate meaningful interactions between buyers and sellers within Africa’s tourism industry. The event is scheduled to take place from October 2-4, at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Launched by On Show Solutions and Experience Africa Events, the events division of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA), this private-sector-led initiative is poised to become a platform for enhancing partnerships between Africa and global source markets.

South Africa Tourism at ITB Berlin

The Team South Africa delegation at ITB Berlin, led by South African Tourism CEO, Nombulelo Guliwe and joined by 63 exhibitors including 14 SMMEs, has returned to SA with optimism having largely achieved their goals of good meetings with buyers and new business prospects.

Speaking on the sidelines of one of the largest global trade shows, Guliwe said: “I have received great feedback from exhibitors at the stand who said that the quality of the buyers they have met with has already proven to yield positive results. Some of the exhibitors already have confirmed bookings emanating from their meetings here at ITB. This is what makes our presence at this trade show worthwhile.”

Youth Tourism Summit in Namibia

This year’s sixth edition of the Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit, to be held in Windhoek, Namibia from May 28-31, has been curated to accelerate innovative travel industry and start-up linkages amongst all participants.

Key among this year’s programme is an Entrepreneurship Masterclass and Intra-Africa Trading Day. These are aimed at youth and women in tourism, businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs and all Namibian Tourism stakeholders to guide and assist them on how to improve their businesses or to source funding for start-ups across Africa’s tourism and related industries.

Meetings Africa 2024 a success

Meetings Africa 2024 kicked off with an air of celebration and anticipation at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, as Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, welcomed delegates to the event. Highlighting the significance of South Africa’s 30 years of Freedom, Minister de Lille emphasized the country’s commitment to partnerships across the African continent. With a record-breaking presence of 380 exhibitors from 21 African countries, including 19 debutants, the event underscored its status as a Pan-African showcase of excellence in the business events sector.

The economic impact of Meetings Africa was not overlooked, as Minister de Lille outlined the substantial contributions made by the event. With South Africa securing 40 bids for the 2022/23 financial year and a further 95 bids for international business events lined up from 2024 to 2032, the country is poised to attract significant investment and delegates. Moreover, last year’s Meetings Africa generated a staggering R388.5 million for the South African economy, showcasing the event’s pivotal role in driving growth and creating opportunities in the region. As the event unfolds over the next two days, attendees can expect a platform ripe for collaboration, networking, and showcasing the best of Africa’s business events offerings.

WTM Africa goes green

WTM Africa 2024 is gearing up to put sustainability at the forefront of its agenda, showcasing a commitment to responsible tourism and eco-friendly practices. Scheduled from April 3rd to April 5th, 2024, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the event aims to promote environmental consciousness within the tourism industry. Partnering with the City of Cape Town, renowned for its sustainable tourism initiatives, WTM Africa is set to spotlight eco-friendly practices and initiatives throughout its landmark 10-year anniversary program.

Megan De Jager, Portfolio Director of Travel and Tourism at RX Africa, emphasized the importance of integrating sustainability into the tourism sector’s growth. Initiatives at WTM Africa 2024 include collaborations with environmentally conscious partners such as the CTICC, implementation of recyclable materials like biodegradable Kraft paper badges and cotton show bags, and the introduction of the Sustainability Village, showcasing responsible tourism in action. With a focus on actionable changes and impactful partnerships, WTM Africa 2024 aims to inspire attendees to adopt sustainable practices and drive positive change within the industry. To attend WTM Africa 2024 and bolt-on events visit:

TBEX Africa Cancelled

The Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Africa 2024 event, originally scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa this coming October, has been cancelled. This difficult decision was made after careful consideration and despite the unwavering commitment to delivering a world-class experience for travel from both TBEX and its partners at KwaZulu-Natal and Visit South Africa; unforeseen circumstances have made it impossible for TBEX to produce an event in South Africa this year.

TBEX, the largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, and travel industry professionals, has always strived to provide a platform for collaboration, education, and inspiration within the travel community. Registered attendees, sponsors, and partners will receive communication regarding relevant details shortly. For the latest updates and information, please visit

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Editor Africa Beat

Africa Beat is the source of all your news and updates in the travel industry out of Africa. You will find also find reviews and features focused on Africa.

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