Adventure Tourism off to Barcelona
For the first time adventure tourism enterprises based in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo will be represented at the 31st annual IBTM tourism trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Alewijn Dippenaar, adventure tourism entrepreneur and founder of Garden Route Adventures, will be accompanied by Niel Els, president of Skål Garden Route, and recently appointed junior vice president of the Skål International Board.
The IBTM takes place from 27 to 29 November, and with more than 15 000 professionals from more than 140 countries attending, this is one of the largest and most influential tourism trade shows in the world, and one of four trade shows Dippenaar plans to attend annually to market adventure tourism opportunities in South Africa.
“At the Vakantie Beurs trade show in the Netherlands in January this year, I realized that international tourists are not aware of the abundance of adventure activities which are offered on an organized basis in the Garden Route,” said Dippenaar.
This inspired him to organise the first ever Adventure Tourism Indaba in Wilderness, Garden Route on 26 and 27 October. The Indaba was attended by nearly 100 owners and representatives of adventure tourism businesses in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.
At the Indaba it was unanimously decided to register a South African Adventure Tourism Association, which was supported not only by attendees but also adventure tourism entrepreneurs countrywide.
“The IBTM is the leading global event for meetings, incentives, conferences and the events industry. Its goal is to inspire the events world to deliver exceptional experiences for their customers,” said Dippenaar. “It also brings together the global meetings industry, who all have the common purpose of meeting the right people that can create better business results for their organisation or business. It provides face to face connections with the right people, provides an opportunity to gain key insights and engage in networking opportunities for three days.”
Fifteen adventure tourism businesses in the Garden Route and Tsitsikamma, the Klein Karoo and Prince Albert, and even in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, will be represented along with more than 3 000 other exotic destinations from around the world. “This is a wonderful opportunity to establish South Africa, and the Garden Route and KleinKaroo in particular, as an adventure tourism destination and the enthusiasm is overwhelming.”
Roche Schoeman (grey shirt) of Fearless Adventures during an interview with SABC2 at the Adventure Tourism Expo at the Map of Africa in October. Fearless Adventures is one of the companies that Alewijn Dippenaar and Niel Els will be representing at the IBTM in Barcelona.