Durban ICC is a hive of activity as Africa’s Travel Indaba gets underway
The Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) has been transformed into an exhibitor’s playground as Africa’s Travel Indaba, which is the largest tourism marketing event on the African calendar, officially begins today.
Around 7000 delegates attending the travel show will get to see a wide variety of the African continent’s best tourism products on display from more than 1000 exhibitors.
The three-day showpiece ends on 04 may 2019.
There are 22 African countries participating at this year’s event and 1663 international buyers from 62 countries, with 342 first time buyers. Last year over 48 000 meetings were scheduled between buyers and exhibitors with 20 000 new business leads created, which bears testament to the massive contribution this event has on the economy.
Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said Africa’s Travel Indaba has become synonymous with storytelling and this year’s theme: “Africa’s Stories, Your Success” re-emphasises the importance of telling our own stories and showcasing our successes.
“Over the next three days, Africa Travel Indaba will be a hive of activity. There are hundreds of tourism products from across the continent exhibiting. International buyers and media from all over the world are here to spread the good news and whet the appetite of millions of aspirant travellers to visit our magnificent and alluring continent,” he said.
Hanekom also unveiled a captivating storytelling 22-metre long wall mural at the launch of this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba.
The mural, designed by four Durban artists in collaboration with two photographers, captures the ethos ‘We do Tourism’ and pays homage to the city and its people by showing how ordinary people take part in the tourism industry.
Durban ICC Chief Executive Officer Lindiwe Rakharebe said Africa’s Travel Indaba has been running at the Centre for over two decades and the event is a great showcase of the diverse tourism products South Africa and the continent has to offer.
“The Durban ICC is buzzing and there is brilliant energy as you walk into the Centre. Our halls have all been transformed into exhibition space and it’s great to see so many people engaging in business and securing deals. An event of this magnitude has huge economic spin offs for the tourism industry and associated businesses, including Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal,” she said.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala said Africa’s Travel Indaba is a prestigious, award-winning event that brings together local and international stakeholders in the tourism sector.
“Growth and sustainability of tourism depend on forging strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships. This Indaba will promote collaboration, experience sharing, and private-public partnerships to maximise the benefits of tourism. For our province and our country, it must also help us advance transformation, inclusive growth and job creation,” said Zikalala.
Zikalala added that the Durban Direct Route strategy is already yielding results and there were more visitors flying from the continent, the United Kingdom, the Middle East directly to KwaZulu-Natal.
“KwaZulu-Natal is blessed with unique scenic beauty, a warm weather throughout the year and a hospitable people. We are endowed with a rich natural heritage, two world heritage sites, and some of the best conferencing facilities in the world, like this award-winning Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre,” added Zikalala.
Issued by: The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC)
For more information contact: Durban ICC Corporate Affairs Manager Gugu Sisilana, 031 360 1302 or Gugusisilana@icc.co.za