KNYSNA NEWS - A total of 35 Knysna businesses were represented at the World Travel Market Africa (WTMA) in Cape Town last week, which was attended by over 5 000 travel industry professionals.
The exhibition is Africa’s leading and only business-to-business (B2B) exhibition for inbound and outbound African travel and tourism markets.
The local businesses were either sharing the Knysna Tourism stand, represented by their managing companies, exhibiting as individuals or they were roaming the floor.
Knysna Tourism chair Elmay Bouwer said this was the first time in eight years that Knysna Tourism had their own stand.
“We were very excited to be sharing our stand with the Knysna Elephant Park, Knysna River Club, Blackwaters River Lodge, Destination Garden Route, Simola Hotel, Country Club and Spa, and Peggy’s Township Tours.
“It was a great way for Ebrahim Windwaai and Keagon Borchards from the Knysna Tourism office to interact with the travel trade, make new relationships, and share what we as a destination have to offer and how we have recovered after the fires. In all, they collected the contact details of over 100 tour operators and agents," Bouwer said.
“We also used the opportunity to market the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.”
During the exhibition, Bouwer did a presentation about the role of a tourism office in the face of a natural disaster. Ypie Kingma of Destination Garden Route spoke about the role of the private sector in the time of a crisis.
Peggy Dlephu of Peggy’s Township Tours said that it was “a very fruitful networking opportunity and a great way to show the world what we offer in Knysna”.
Selling our town are Ebrahim Windwaai and Keagon Borchards from Knysna Tourism. Photos: Supplied
Ypie Kingma of Destination Garden Route said it was extremely valuable for the establishments she represents. “We have already done the first site inspections with operators in Knysna as a result of the show, with more to come!”
According to Windwaai, there was a large presence from emerging markets whose buyers were at the show and, in particular, the Brazilian market showed huge interest in Knysna.
Borchards said it was fantastic to see all the Garden Route local tourism offices represented at the show. “Together we are a force to be reckoned with!” he said.
Knysna Tourism will again be representing the area at the Indaba in Durban from 8 to 10 May.
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