Over 200 of Africa’s travel industry leaders gathered in Cape Town this week for a Travelport-hosted summit centred around the fast growth of travel commerce, which continues to take place in Africa, and the key role of technology in the industry.
Africa’s travel and tourism industry is forecast to grow significantly over the coming years and direct contribution to Africa’s GDP is expected to rise by almost five per cent per annum to over $121 billion by 2026. In the same year, the industry is expected to support almost 30 million jobs.
The summit, named ‘Africa Live,’ was hosted by Travelport, with day two of the event featuring a comprehensive agenda based on the role of innovation and technology in improving the region’s travel businesses and the critical success factors for future travel industry leaders. Topics ranged from the future of travel payments, how brands are adopting more mobile technology to drive growth, to how airline merchandising trends are affecting how we book travel today and the significance of all of these factors in an increasingly competitive business environment. Africa has long been considered a priority region and an area of investment for Travelport, where the company has steadily expanded its presence with a regional head office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Managing director for Africa, Travelport, Douglas Jewson commented on the event: “Travelport operates across 53 countries in Africa and our objective with this event is to provide a setting for industry leaders to convene and learn about the future of our industry. We are committed to partnering with Africa’s travel industry to support the ongoing growth we are seeing in the region; many African countries feature heavily in the list of the world’s fastest growing economies. Furthermore, with the recent creation of Travelport Digital- which is focused on helping travel industry players take advantage of the fast growing digital economy and new ways of accessing and booking travel- we are in a strong position to support this critical area for many companies.”
By 2035 passenger traffic to, from and within Africa is expected to reach 268 million, and Travelport has an increasing number of existing African airline partners now taking advantage of its suite of merchandising products which enable them to display and sell their fares and ancillaries in exactly the same way as they do on their own website.