SHOWCASING a myriad tourism offerings that KwaZulu-Natal has to offer and highlighting Durban as the place to be, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal hosted a buyer breakfast for international delegates at the Southern Sun Elangeni hotel yesterday.
While Durban has been the host city for Africa’s Tourism Indaba for several years, the indaba was put on hold for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The return of this signature event brings much-needed relief to the local tourism sector and is a vital tool to showcase the KZN tourism industry to the world. The four-day-long indaba is expected to generate R72.5 million for the local economy. Tourism contributes almost 10% to the GDP in the province.
For KwaZulu-Natal, the Travel Indaba is a welcomed boost as the province emerges from the recent devastation caused by the pandemic, KZN unrest and recent floods.
The KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay, welcomed tourism buyers, international media and key role players in the tourism industry and affirmed KZN as a premium destination for leisure and investment.
“Despite the pandemic, KZN unrest, floods and the weakened operating environment, tourism has survived the past two years and is now ready to be re-ignited for the benefit of all in the province, country and continent. As we re-ignite tourism in KZN, leisure seekers and business travellers from across the globe can once again enjoy our province.”
The Africa Travel Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, where stakeholders meet, engage and share with the world inspiring stories of resilience and innovation in tourism. The province is hosting 4 000 delegates and this year’s theme is “Africa’s stories, your success”.
Travel trade delegates from India, a key international source market for KwaZulu-Natal, arrived in Durban on Sunday, and immediately began exploring the tourism offerings of KZN before heading off to Africa’s Travel Indaba. The India market is critical for KZN and its tourism partners as it accounted for almost 200 000 international arrivals into the province in 2019.
During Africa’s Travel Indaba, Tourism KZN will be engaging buyers from India to revive the KZN market.
Speaking at the KZN Breakfast, acting chief executive officer, Phindile Makwakwa, said the India market is a critical market for the province and there is a huge appetite for KZN in India already due to the historical ties between the two countries.
“At the Africa’s Travel Indaba, the organisation will be engaging with a lot of their partners from India, and there is a week-long programme for the buyers which will include post tours to various parts of the province.
“Even during the lockdowns, Tourism KZN did a lot to keep the destination top-of-mind in India,” she said.
Makwakwa added that Tourism KZN is confident that with the programmes that are in place to revive the India market, the organisation will begin to see an increase in tourists’ arrivals from the Asian sub-continent.