Durban – Africa’s Travel Indaba was back on track and it was all systems go, said South African tourism stakeholders at the launch in Durban on Wednesday.
The Indaba trade show will take place from May 2 to 5 at the Durban ICC.
“It has been a long two years and we cannot wait to meet with all our valued partners from across the world,” said South African Tourism spokesperson Lesego Marimo.
“Africa is a beautiful continent with a wide variety of tourism products and experiences. The Indaba is the perfect place for the continent to gather and showcase this to all the quality buyers and partners that will be in attendance. Africa is open for business,” Marimo said.
Deputy head of eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Tourism Winile Mntungwa said there were many things in the pipeline for tourists and that Durban was ready to return to the tourism scene with a bang.
“It has an economic boost for the city including townships and rural areas. It is the resuscitation or reignition of the business tourism deals that is going to re-boost the tourism of our province. There is a new inventory of tourism products for Durban that have been developed,” Mntungwa said.
Acting CEO of SA Tourism Themba Khumalo described Durban as a magnificent destination and city. He said Africa offered a unique experience that came from the inside out.
Khumalo said: “You are able to let go of things that may be bothering or worrying you. We give the world an emotion that they cannot experience elsewhere. We have new entrepreneurs with fresh products that have emerged.”
Khumalo said not being able to travel and interact with other human beings was not an actual state. He said for the last two years we have been in that condition where we have been looking at each other through screens.
Adding that: “People have been pixels on a screen rather than human beings. We relied on South Africans travelling in their own country. The Indaba is not a South African show but an African show. It is about products across the continent and buyers from all across the world coming to buy African products. This platform will reignite tourism across the continent.”
Khumalo said he was confident in the country’s readiness to receive the world.
Founder and managing director of Ndzenga Tours Safaris Makhosi Msimango said she specialises in authentic heritage tourism experiences including exclusive rights to take tourists up to the Royal Palace in Nongoma.
“We are ready to showcase the wonderful offerings that KwaZulu-Natal has to offer,” Msimango said.
Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, the chief convention bureau officer of the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), said South Africa has launched a new global campaign live again to tell “our” African stories. She said SAA’s return was important.