The Africa’s Travel Indaba has been underway at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban since yesterday.
The Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar.
During one of the many showcases Derek Hanekom – Minister of Travel and Tourism in South Africa – spoke about the success of the Indaba even with the disheartening change of date and the election season.
He said, “Even with those challenges people still showed up to the event.”
He added that South African tourism is generally on the rise.
At the opening of the Indaba yesterday he said, “In 2018 Africa reached 67 million international tourist arrivals, a growth of 7% on 2017, comfortably ahead of the world average growth of 6%. This represents 5% of all global international arrivals, up nearly 14 million from the low of 2015, a year when we faced the challenge of Ebola. We have grown on average by almost 8% for three years in a row!”
There were also discussions around the E-Visa which the minister said the president was pushing for the Department of Home Affairs to get on board with as it will make travellers lives easier.
This years event did not disappoint with showcases from the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products and attractions while hosting international buyers and media from across the world.
eThekwini Municipality’s Marketing and Communications manager Sbusiso Zondi said the Indaba was a great success with the numbers of people attending being impressive.
“There are so many exhibitors that are young this year and they all come from all around the continent,” he said.
The Indaba comes to a close on Saturday with the president, Cyril Ramaphosa, expected to attend.
Hanekom said, “We must enhance Indaba every year to drive massive growth in tourism numbers by bringing together a range of our best and most unique products from across our continent, and connecting them with buyers from across the world.”