Proudly sponsored by International Banking from Absa and media partners The Star and Saturday Star, the World Holiday and Travel Fair (WHTF) successfully ran its first show which kicked off this past weekend at the Coca Cola Dome in Northgate. The range of exhibitors at the show expressed a true testament to the range of diverse outbound travel product offerings available to South Africans. As the first show of its kind in the South African market place, outbound travel took centre stage with many participating exhibitors bringing new products to the market.
By all accounts the event was a huge success! The WHTF received a very enthusiastic visitor response and the success of the expo is evident from the compliments received from exhibitors. “They were so impressed with the quality of visitors present at the show and many have indicated that excellent business was conducted over the 3 day event,” states Glynis Anderson, General Manager of Thebe Exhibitions and Projects organisers of the WHTF. As the first fair of its kind to showcase international destinations and travel options while offering travel bugs special offers and the facility to book and pay for their next holiday, visitors to the show were inspired to travel and many took advantage and didn‘t waste any time in booking that dream holiday right there and then!
Speaking on behalf of International Banking from Absa, Mr Karl Sieber commented on his extreme satisfaction with what this event has enabled International Banking from Absa to achieve. “We have been looking for an event and a platform to showcase our products related to travel and we are delighted to have found our partner with the WHTF through the leading exhibitions group, Thebe Exhibitions and Projects (Thebe),” says Sieber.
Many big industry players were represented at the expo, including a wide variety of establishments such as resorts and hotels, together with an array of destinations, airlines, cruise liners, tour operators and ski holiday operators. Visitors were also inspired by gourmet travel tips at ‘The Star Angela Day and Spar Food Theatre in Association with Elba Appliances‘, presented by the Angela Day Kitchen which showcased cuisine from around the world with well-known chefs presenting live cooking demonstrations to visitors. Travel Guru,” Carol Lazar gave talks on informative travel tips and visitors were entertained by numerous dance performances from around the world. Independent Newspapers marketing Manager for Gauteng, Hilly Camacho said she had been extremely pleased with the success of the fair. “We had taken the opportunity to showcase two of our critically acclaimed draw cards for the Saturday Star; the Angela Day Kitchen with Jenny Kay and our Travel editor Carol Lazar. The response was phenomenal. Both of these well loved stalwarts spoke to full houses throughout the exhibition, interacting directly with our readers.
“This was a very well organised showcase and one that the Saturday Star was extremely proud to have played such an integral part in. The feedback has exceeded our expectations.” she said.
On Sunday, the show was visited by South Africa‘s favourite flight attendant and stage performer extraordinaire, Cathy Specific! The dazzling “dame” attracted her fair share of attention as she strutted her stuff down the aisles of the show.
To ensure a fun day out for the whole family, Royal Caribbean International hosted an exciting Kidz Zone to keep the kiddies entertained while mom and dad viewed the products on display. Exciting fun filled activities in this area included jumping castles, clowns, face painting, Wii stations and a DVD section! “When we were approached by Thebe Exhibitions and Projects to sponsor the Kidz Zone at the 2010 World Holiday and Travel Fair we jumped at the opportunity to participate in the show. It was an ideal platform to showcase Royal Caribbean International‘s complimentary, year-round Adventure Ocean program, which is recognized as one of the industry‘s leading youth programs at sea and we were delighted with the response received by the visitors especially the kiddies. Congratulations goes to Thebe Exhibitions and Projects for organizing such a successful event and Royal Caribbean International looks forward to being at the 2011 World Holiday and Travel Fair” commented Tracey Krog, Product Manager and PR – The Contemporary Portfolio
Students did not miss out and were kept extremely busy at The STA Youth Travel Pavilion where all the fun was happening including rock wall climbing, EWOK as the MC, Sing Star, Playstation and exciting offers on flights, adventure packages and tours! “We are thrilled with the show and that our stand attracted visitors who were serious travellers. With our interactive zone that included activities and competitions we managed to keep visitors at our pavilion for as long as 1 hour and really maximised on the opportunity to sell. We had a live booking station and made a number of bookings at the show. We look forward to participating in this show again and to see many more visitors and exhibitors in the future” says Liezl Gericke, Managing Director of STA Travel South Africa.
“From our perspective, this is the most important outbound travel expo in South Africa,” stated Anderson. “The expo was a wonderful opportunity for both South African travellers as well as the travel trade as it provided a platform for exhibitors to speak directly to the travel trade as well as potential travellers. Johannesburg is an ideal city for promoting travel to the rest of the world as it represents a large, affluent market and is the gateway to most outbound destinations,” adds Anderson. “With a fabulous visitor response and the array of exhibitors from countries across the globe, the event was an undeniable success.”
Building on this year’s momentum, next year’s show promises to be even bigger and even better! WHTF is synonymous with enjoying unforgettable experiences, exploring that ideal hideaway spot, discovering places to unwind or destinations to push the limits of adventure. Don‘t miss the WHTF next year taking place from the 15th – 17th April at the Coca Cola Dome for even more exciting destinations and a chance to book the next holiday of your dreams!