Having FOMO over this year's cancelled tourism trade shows? New hi-tech virtual ‘travel show’ can fill the void
A new virtual meeting platform will connect Africa’s travel trade with global buyers following the cancellation of several African travel trade shows exhibitions this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
OurAfrica.Travel 2020 replaces the industry’s traditional exhibitions, which are critical marketing, sales and networking tool for businesses in the travel and tourism sector.
The hi-tech virtual ‘travel show’ will take place over 16 days in August. It is scheduled within geographical regions to accommodate time zones.
In a press statement, the organisers revealed that OurAfrica.Travel will connect African suppliers such as hotels, lodges, activity operators and inbound operators with global buyers, via pre-scheduled one-on-one, face-to-face virtual meetings.
Co-founder Storm Napier said the team has been overwhelmed by the response from exhibitors and buyers since the launch earlier this month.
“OurAfrica.Travel is a new, affordable way to reignite and reunite Africa with the world and the reaction has been incredible. We now have over 150 exhibitors registered from countries across Africa," said Napier.
All participating exhibitors have invited their local and international buyer partners, including tour operators, travel agencies and Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) organisers who sell Africa.
Buyers participation in OurAfrica.Travel 2020 is free, easy and convenient. A buyer registers via a dedicated link, and once signed up they are admitted to the virtual platform and can begin networking with exhibitors.
Over 120 buyers have signed up to date.
The virtual travel show will accommodate buyers across different geographic regions and time zones. It will take place from August 11 to 13 (Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific between 2am to 10am CAT)
North America, South America and Canada show will take place over five days from August 17 to 21, from 4pm to 1am CAT.
Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland and Africa show will take place over five days from August 24 to 28 from 9am to 6pm CAT.
There will also be something called Global Saturdays that takes place on August 15, 22 and 29 from 9am to 6pm CAT.
Global Saturdays are open days that allow for the overflow of appointments that could not be accommodated within the exhibition schedule, and any buyer from anywhere may meet with any exhibitor, based on CAT.
Online diaries will open on August 1, 2020, when one can schedule 15-minute meetings.
"Attendance on the platform is monitored by organisers to ensure that confirmed meetings are honoured by both exhibitors and buyers. In addition, buyers can earn points, based on their interaction within the system, which allows them to win Golden
Ticket experiences in Africa," it revealed in its statement.