Durban to host Indaba Travel Show for Five More Years
Travel Trade Show Rebrands as Africa’s Travel Indaba and Launches New South African Tourism Marketing Campaign Slogan: “We Do Tourism”
South African President Jacob G. Zuma opened Africa’s premier travel trade show, Indaba 2017, in Durban this week with the announcement that the show would be held in the city for another five years and would rebrand itself as Africa’s Travel Indaba to focus on the entire continent. A new campaign, entitled “We Do Tourism” was also launched.
“This is a wonderful way to celebrate Africa Month and to showcase the beauty of our country and our continent. This week we bring Africa and the world together at this homegrown trade show where Africa markets itself to the world,” Zuma said.
The event, which has been held annually in South Africa for more than 20 years showcases a variety of experiences and tourism products from across Africa, attracted more than 7,000 global vendors, buyers and journalists to the Durban Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre for three days of networking, exhibitions and social events.This resulted in more than 20,000 confirmed meetings between delegates over the three show days, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to last year’s figure.
The new positioning as a pan-African travel show re-emphasizes South Africa’s commitment to furthering tourism and economic development across the continent. At this years event more than 1,000 businesses from 18 African countries showcased a diverse range of travel and tourism offerings to 1,449 local and international buyers as well as 692 registered media representatives from across the world, which was an 8% increase from 2016, according to South African Tourism.
“African tourism is growing at two times the rate of the global average,” Zuma said. “We’ve seen a 13% increase. (I believe) tourism has the potential for hope in these depressed economic times globally. And working together with global partners we can increase these numbers even more. The time has come to bring the world home to the cradle of mankind, Africa.”
Africa’s Travel Indaba also saw the launch of South Africa’s “I Do Tourism” marketing campaign, which will highlight how tourism, a rapidly growing sector, has the potential to change people’s lives for the better by making a direct and tangible contribution to inclusive economic growth.
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, invited all South Africans to become tourism ambassadors for their own country, hailing I Do Tourism as a movement that will show the social and economic value of tourism in people’s day-to-day lives. The Minister also launched the National Department of Tourism’s campaign to achieve 30% of women in executive management and board directorship positions in tourism in the next five years.
South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona also praised this edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba as a resounding success.
“This year was all about listening to the feedback from exhibitors and partners that resulted in some fundamental changes, to ensure the event stays fresh and relevant. These ranged from the show’s updated diary system that provided more matchmaking and meeting opportunities to a brand-new Indaba app as the show’s primary source of information about news, meetings and events,” Ntshona said.
Other event enhancements included the new Lap of Luxury pavilion, showcasing five-star products, and the Hidden Gems pavilion showcasing small tourism businesses.
“Hidden Gems was a pioneering initiative between the private sector and public sector aimed at accelerating inclusive growth in the tourism industry. The programme identified 90 quality tourism SMEs from all nine provinces, and helped get them market-ready before their sponsored participation at Africa’s Travel Indaba. It proved to be a highly successful platform for them to meet and network with fellow exhibitors as well as travel buyers, and gain valuable exposure for their enterprises,” Ntshona said.
Summing up the show’s success, Ntshona stated: “We’re confident that the additional offerings, SME showcase and enhanced platforms for dialogue and information-sharing contributed to the success of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2017. We’re not done yet though, with several more enhancements and a refreshed brand planned for 2018, and we trust that exhibitors, delegates, media and buyers will be as excited as we are for next year’s event.”