In 2020 the tourism industry witnessed an unprecedented number of cancelled, dropped and postponed events more than ever before as the world experienced the greatest global challenge in over a century.

Suffice to say, the success of these tourism events and expositions in the coming New Year, 2021, has never been more significant and crucial to the future and revival the industry.

Every travel and tourism agency, company, service provider and stakeholder of note knows that they should now be making note of these upcoming events, bearing in mind the gravity of their success to the industry and start focusing their marketing efforts on them. 

By nature tourism events, such as Trade shows, fairs and conferences in the tourism industry are the best way to find new partners and source service providers at a global level. And there is at least one major event for any players in the industry: destinations, hoteliers, F&B, travel agents, airlines, technology providers, start-ups, public institutions and more.

NomadAfrica has compiled our own comprehensive list of upcoming 2021 travel and tourism trade shows, fairs and conferences that are generally considered the largest and most renowned international tourism gatherings in Africa, providing education and insight from industry leaders for every travel and tourism topic imaginable.

Here are our top picks of top billed 2021 events and exhibitions we would love to attend!

World Travel Market Africa (WTM)

Dates: 7th- 9th April 2021

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

World Travel Market Africa, WTM, delivers the leading global events for the travel industry. Taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, the event brings over 6000 travel industry professionals and visitors together as they attend one of Africa’s top business to business exhibitions for both the inbound and outbound African travel and tourism markets.

WTM annually delivers the leading global events for the travel industry. Beyond the event the organisation assists professionals in the African travel industry to network and drive commercial success with year round access to make connections, industry news and developments, trends and technologies from around the world.

Through the industry networks, global reach and regional focus, WTM Africa creates personal and business opportunities providing stakeholders with quality contacts, content and communities.

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  • The Africa MICE Forums

Dates+Locations: Lagos, Nigeria | 22 – 24 April 2021

Morocco | 22 – 24 July 2021

Kigali, Rwanda | 14 – 16 September 2021

In the travel and tourism world, the term “MICE” is used as an acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions. The MICE market refers to a specialized niche of group tourism dedicated to planning, booking, and facilitating conferences, seminars, and other events, which is a big money-maker in the travel industry.

The Africa MICE Forums, is a series of interactive high-end events designed to connect pre-qualified MICE buyers and local suppliers through fun and authentic experiences across different host destinations.

Unlike other large gatherings, AMFs are intimate forums of about 40-60 participants with each event running for only two nights and one day; a short and effective stay for meeting, negotiating and building meaningful relationships with the best suppliers.

Annually, through these series of events, the AMF invites both local and international MICE buyers including meetings and event planners, communication agencies, venue finding companies, corporates and International Associations interested in doing business in Africa to take advantage of its hosted buyer offerings to discover diverse and rich host destinations.

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  • Africa Tourism Leadership Awards

Dates: TBA

Locations: TBA

Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) is a Pan-African dialogue platform. It brings together key stakeholders of Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors to network, share insights, and devise strategies for intra-Africa travel and tourism growth across the continent, whilst enhancing the brand equity of “Destination Africa’’.

Africa Tourism Leadership Awards recognise the game-changers in the tourism sector focusing on notable individuals and groups’ initiatives being pursued across the sector.

Awards Categories include:

  • Leading in Progressive Policies’ Award
  • Outstanding Tourism Transportation Award
  • Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award
  • Women in Leadership Award
  • Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination Award
  • Outstanding Accommodation Facility/Group Award
  • Outstanding Africa Tourism Media & Marketing Award
  • Championing Sustainability Award
  • Destination Africa – Lifetime Award

Among the events 2020 big winners included Ethiopian Airways clinching the Outstanding Tourism Transportation Award, Rwandan President, Paul Kagame who won the Destination Africa Lifetime award and our very own Nomad Africa Magazine that scooped 3rd position in the Outstanding Africa Tourism Media Award!!!

Well done team NOMADAFRICA MAG, we are definitely looking forward to taking the top prize home come 2021!


  • Comic Con 2021

Date: 24 April 2021

Location: Cape Town Stadium, South Africa

Comic Con Africa – is the African version of a multi-genre entertainment, comic and fan convention born out of the more widely known International Comic Con events globally.

In 2018, the South African Comic Con journey began when the annual Comic Con Africa was launched in Johannesburg to much excitement in keeping with the events reputation of developing mass media ‘fandoms’ and influencing pop culture.

The four-day festival focusses on all elements of pop culture and brings international and local comic artists, comic book characters, film and TV celebrities to South Africa where they meet fans, sign autographs and have photo ops. Packed with championships, competitions, super show specials, product launches, workshops, panels, Q&A sessions, screenings, activations, and interactive experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy whether you are a casual fan or a bona fide geek.

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  • Experience Africa

Date: June 21st – 23rd 2021

Location: This is an online only event/webinar

Experience Africa hosted by the African Travel & Tourism Association, ATTA, is an annual event known for uniting African suppliers with the most relevant, active buyers from the UK & Europe in one place. Experience Africa showcases a refreshingly wide range of inspiring travel products and enticingly curated experiences, all being sold right now across the incredible continent. This essential B2B event will present the very best Africa product portfolios, assuring connectivity between key European buyers and handpicked quality exhibitors, maximising exposure in a way never seen before in the UK.

ATTA will be hosting two Experience Africa events in 2021, the January virtual event will take place from Monday 25th – Wednesday 27th January allowing attendees to schedule one-to-one meetings with Africa suppliers via their online meeting platform as well as attend the virtual webinar sessions.

The event will run for three day, to provide maximum opportunities for one-to-one meetings and networking. The seminar schedule will pay particular attention to educational content that will focus on driving Africa’s tourism revival, post Covid 19.

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  • HIFA-Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) 2021

Dates: April 27, 2021 – May 2, 2021

Location: HICC building, Harare, Zimbabwe

The annual Harare International Festival of the Arts, HIFA, held in the capital of Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s largest international arts festivals. The week-long festival typically encompasses five principal disciplines: theatre, music, dance, fine art, and poetry.

Held over six days around late April or early May, HIFA brings international acts to produce a crammed timetable alongside top billed artists. The explosion of artistic creativity unleashed by HIFA enables the people of Zimbabwe to show the world their resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Performances usually include Afrobeat, funk, jazz, soul, opera, classical music, theatre and dance performed by various local and international artistes.

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  • Malawi International Tourism Expo

Dates: April 2021

Location: Bingu International Conference Centre, Lilongwe, Malawi

The Takulandirani – Malawi International Tourism Expo, is designed for regional and local buyers, media and tourism enterprises, operators & stakeholders. Yearly it features marketing tips and tricks for tourism SME’s to access international markets, and cultural heritage and tourism.

Malawi, known as the “Warm Heart of Africa and Africa’s Newest Big5 Destination” links the Southern and Eastern Africa regions. As a destination, Malawi offers a myriad of activities not found in other countries in the region such as fresh water beaches and world’s largest fresh water aquarium with over 1,000 unique species of colourful cichlids, challenging biking, trekking and hiking trails.

Lake Malawi offers unique flora and fauna which include the magnificent Lake Malawi, diverse nature which includes rivers, mountains and valleys; wide variety of wildlife in spectacular surroundings; vibrant culture and people legendarily renowned for friendliness and hospitality and international standard MICE facilities.

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  • Africa trade week

Dates: 20-26 June 2021

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Africa Trade Week 2021 Taking place from 20-26 June 2021

Africa Trade Week will bring together the hospitality, tourism, food & beverage and the retail sectors under the theme “Africa – the new home of trade.”

Taking place from the 20 – 22 June 2021, the 3-day event will showcase these sectors to the world while building a world-class retail event for Africa which will ensure the spotlight is on the continent in June every year.

Africa Trade Week welcomes over 10,000 local & international industry professionals from 65 countries to source products, services, equipment, supplies, innovations, technology and solutions from over 500 exhibitors.

This showcase also includes free training workshops and live features including competitions are supported by over 20 different global media partners.

  • International Conference on Sustainable Tourism and Destination Sustainability

Dates: April 15-16, 2021

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

The International Conference on Sustainable Tourism and Destination Sustainability aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Sustainable Tourism and Destination Sustainability.

The Conference is a run by a federated organization dedicated to bringing together a significant number of diverse scholarly events for presentation within the conference program. Events will run over a span of time during the conference depending on the number and length of the presentations. With its high quality, it provides an exceptional value for students, academics and industry researchers.

It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Sustainable Tourism and Destination Sustainability

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Africa Travel Indaba

Date: 12 – 14 May 2021

Locations: Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC), South Africa

Africa’s Travel Indaba is much lauded local tourism marketing event that showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.

Africa’s Travel Indaba has won the awards for Africa’s best travel and tourism show. This award was presented by the Association of World Travel Awards.

Indaba brings together a showcase of Southern African tourism products and services for the international travel trade. Exhibitors in the DEC (Durban Exhibition Centre) 12 – 14 May 2021 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC)

Many of our partner teams will be exhibiting or in attendance at this year’s show and welcome the opportunity to meet our trade partners so please do contact us to arrange an introduction and appointment.

The post Top Tourism Events Line-up For 2021 appeared first on Nomad Africa Magazine | Celebrating the world’s richest continent.

Source: Nomad Africa Magazine