KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, says it is all systems go for Africa’s Travel Indaba 2018.
Previously known as the Tourism Indaba, Africa’s Travel Indaba will see more than 6 000 representatives from 80 countries converging at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre for the continent’s top travel trade show, which will be from 8 to 10 May 2018.
“This is an occasion that affords us a chance to strategically influence perceptions among existing and potential tourists that our continent, country and province is as an ideal tourism destination.
“But beyond this important consideration, this is also a platform for us as KwaZulu-Natal to make good on our states ideals of making inroads into those sectors that were previously the preserve of a select few to the exclusion of the majority of the citizens of this province,” Zikalala said.
The first day of indaba will kick-off with a breakfast session to be attended by tourism heavyweights, including CEOs, exhibitors, buyers as well as local and international media.
The breakfast session, to be held at the Hilton Hotel, will also feature a panel discussion including MEC Zikalala and various stakeholders in the tourism space.
The MEC said the province will use Africa’s Travel Indaba to make major announcements concerning its tourism industry.
According to the organisers, the online meetings confirmed for the show between buyers and exhibitors had already exceeded the 2017 numbers two weeks before the opening.
In total, more than 1 060 exhibitors will be doing business in 2018 from 22 African countries.
“It is really encouraging to see that in total we have delegates from 31 African countries at this year’s show, and although there are 22 exhibiting countries, we see definite interest from other countries to use this platform in the future as they embrace the tourism sector’s potential for job creation and contribution to GDP in their countries,” South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona said last week.
The theme for this year’s show is about telling African success stories, and a big part of this will be celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth with the tourism delegates from all over the continent and the world.
The show will also be used to launch the improved Mandela Journey App (available from app stores) which has been especially updated in celebration of the centenary year.