The phenomenal success of the 2023 Africa Travel Indaba will contribute immensely to the recovery of the tourism sector.

The Indaba was held from 9 to 11 May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and saw 8 629 delegates attend. There were also 21 000 meetings hosted between exhibitors and international buyers. Additionally, the event featured exhibitors who showcased an impressive array of tourism products.

Zinhle Nzama, Acting Chief Conventions Bureau Officer at South African Tourism said: “We set out to deliver a show that would showcase the best of the African continent and we did just that. It could not have been done without our partners and of course, the greater African tourism industry.” Nzama said this year’s Indaba significantly outperformed last year’s event boasting 21 000 meetings compared to 13 000 in 2022. Furthermore, the exhibition featured the participation of 22 African countries.

Phindile Makwakwa, Chief Operating Officer at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal said a strong element of the Indaba was the hosting of buyers and media on tours to various destinations to experience it themselves and package Kwa Zulu-Natal for their clients.

Makwakwa, is eagerly anticipating Durban becoming the permanent home of the Indaba. She expressed confidence in the partnership between the Durban ICC, eThekwini Municipality, Tourism KZN, and South African Tourism. Winile Mntungwa, Deputy Head of Durban Tourism said the City was likely to exceed its projections for Africa’s Travel Indaba when the actual economic benefits are released. She said this contributes significantly to the Durban Gross Domestic Product (estimated at R130 million), hotel and non-hotel occupancy (at 80 percent), and actual spending (amounting to R78 million), resulting in the creation of 250 job opportunities. “We have more exciting plans including establishing an international film city, a new shopping centre namely Westown which is a mixed-use development, coupled with our efforts to enhance cruise tourism and the revival of the Waterfront Point Development,” added Mntungwa. During the Indaba, the City hosted a round table discussion on how to position the Durban destination. Themed ‘Durban on the rise’, the discussion was broadcast live on CNBC Africa DStv channel 410. Panelists such as Ross Volk, the MD of MSC South Africa said the company has invested R300 million into the cruise terminal in Durban and is planning further R30 million expansion. Eric Martin, a co-owner of Black and Abroad Travel company based in the United States of America said: “My highlight was seeing more locally owned black businesses exhibiting. Durban is amazing, it is indeed South Africa’s playground. The Indaba has put Durban on the map.”

Article by: Nonduduzo Ngcongo

Metro Ezasegagasini 19 May 2023 English

Image caption: The three-day 2023 Africa Travel Indaba put Durban and KwaZulu-Natal on the global map. Over 21 000 meetings were held between international buyers and exhibitors who showcased the best Africa has to offer.

Picture: Courtesy of Thulani






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