Africa’s Eden Hosted Travel Show 2023 wraps up in Livingstone with Ministerial Presence, networking success, and the unveiling of future plans

Honourable Minister of Tourism Rodney Sikumba, Africa’s Eden CEO Jillian Blackbeard
and ATTA CEO Chris Mears

The Africa’s Eden Hosted Travel Show 2023 has concluded with resounding success at the Radisson Blu Mosi-oa-Tunya Resort in Livingstone, Zambia, from November 21 to 23. This prestigious event brought together 105 global travel buyers, offering exclusive opportunities for pre and post familiarisation tours of the region.

Honourable Minister of Tourism, Rodney Sikumba, played a pivotal role in the grand opening, ringing the ceremonial bell to mark the commencement of the proceedings. Minister Sikumba later actively engaged with travel buyers and exhibitors on board the historic Royal Livingstone Express Steam Train, fostering connections and strengthening partnerships.

Jillian Blackbeard, CEO of Africa’s Eden Tourism, expressed her enthusiasm about the successful event, stating, “This signature event reflects the essence of Africa’s Eden as a collective, showcasing qualitative collaboration based on a platform of meetings, networking and socials. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our members and the community of Livingstone, Zambia.”

The show featured 118 exhibiting Africa’s Eden members who participated in intensive one-on-one meetings with travel buyers during the day.

The evenings were filled with memorable networking events, including a luxurious sunset cruise on the Zambezi River with drinks and canapés, hosted on the Radisson’s Adventure Mosi-oa-Tunya and The David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa’s Lady Livingstone cruise boats. Another highlight was the historic Royal Livingstone Express Steam Train journey from Livingstone town to the Victoria Falls Bridge offered by Bushtracks Africa. The Royal Livingstone Express served as a unique backdrop for fostering collaboration and networking among attendees. The train journey allowed visitors to disembark at the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge with its breathtaking sunset views providing an unparalleled experience.

Throughout the event, Africa’s Eden member companies generously sponsored transferring more than 300 attendees between venues. Special thanks go out to Bushtracks Africa,

Shearwater Zambia, Wild Horizons, Africa Travel & Tours, Shearzone Safaris and Wilch Travel & Tours. The Africa’s Eden Hosted Travel Show 2023 not only celebrated the success of fostering global connections but also made significant strides in sustainable event practices. A shining example of this commitment was the thoughtful sponsorship by Ecodrop, who provided refillable water bottles for all attendees.

In alignment with Africa’s Eden’s dedication to sustainable travel, Ecodrop’s sponsorship facilitated a substantial environmental impact. A remarkable 1580 plastic water bottles were saved from production and waste, thanks to the widespread use of these reusable solutions during the event. Jillian Blackbeard, CEO of Africa’s Eden Tourism, expressed gratitude for the partnership with Ecodrop and emphasized the importance of such initiatives. “As we create platforms for industry players to connect, it’s equally crucial to do so with a mindful approach. Ecodrop’s support has not only reduced our ecological footprint but has set a positive example for future events within the tourism sector.”

To cap off the multi-day event, a vibrant Afrosteam-themed closing celebration provided a fun and lively atmosphere, offering further opportunities for networking amongst the travel industry’s elite. Africa’s Eden expresses gratitude to Minor Hotels Zambia, Mukuni Boma, Protea Hotel by Marriot Livingstone, Radisson Blu Mosi-oa-Tunya, Okavango Gin and WAYAWAYA for sponsoring the closing event. Due to the continued success, Africa’s Eden has announced plans to split future hosted travel shows. The Africa Hosted Travel Show is scheduled for Lusaka, Zambia, in April 2024, catering specifically to Africa-based buyers. An International Hosted Travel Show is slated for November 2024 in Swakopmund, Namibia, offering a global platform for industry players to reconvene.