Rebuilding Durban’s tourism sector will take centre stage during the upcoming Africa Travel Indaba. The Indaba is taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from May 2 to 5, with 3 700 delegates from across the globe expected to attend.
The event is being held after the City’s tourism industry suffered several setbacks due to Covid-19, last year’s civil unrest and the recent flooding.
The overall theme for the upcoming Africa Travel Indaba is "Africa’s stories, your success." However, eThekwini’s sub theme is “Tourism sector in Durban bounces back”, as the City is set to take full advantage of hosting the indaba to reignite the local tourism industry.
The indaba is Africa’s largest travel show and attracts key role-players in sectors from across the globe, as well as government leaders and buyers while providing a platform for Africa’s exhibitors to showcase their products.
Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu will officially open the event and set the tone for the Africa Travel Indaba.
Topics to be discussed over the four days include: how the African tourism sector is gearing up towards recovery, digital transformation: what it is and why it is important for tourism stakeholders and business owners in a Covid-19 environment, and connectivity and market access opportunities.
EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the City is ready to welcome delegates from across the world to connect and do business, and that most of the City’s key tourism infrastructure affected during the recent floods is now fully functional.
“The Indaba will have several side events targeting key target source markets to cement Durban as a tourist mecca. These include panel discussions, precinct activations, international media and trade tours, speed marketing sessions and business breakfast with key stakeholders such as South African Airways to strengthen working relations.
He adds that the return of the signature travel trade show plays a major role in boosting the City’s tourism economy. The travel show was not held for the past two years due to Covid-19.
“About 3 700 delegates are expected to attend. This will have a direct spend of R29m and contribute approximately R72.5m to the City’s GDP, as well as create about 150 employment opportunities.”
Mel Ntombela, chairperson of the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu Community Tourism Organisation (CTO) is excited that the indaba is taking place.
“The platform allows us to sell our region and the City’s tourism products to local and international buyers. I have started to arrange meetings with potential buyers, as well as with media from different parts of the world using the trade show online portal.”
The nine CTOs, which are funded by the City and are responsible for promoting tourism products in their regions, will be provided with a stand to showcase their offerings, host meetings and distribute its brochures.