Durban – One of my missions for Indaba this year was to spot out the best stands at the annual travel show.
It was no easy task as the range of tourism offerings grow significantly each year.
I am glad that organisers have embraced the different tourism markets, for example more emphasis is being placed on millennial travellers, digitisation and township tourism.
After hours of walking the Durban International Convention Centre, this is what South African stands caught my eye:
South African Tourism stand
I love the way South Africa markets the country. If one installation was not enough, the South African Tourism department decided to have four.
In one installation, pictured, guests can get to learn more of what they have to offer, including the Good Times in A Box campaign where South Africans can book local holidays for a family, friends or couples.
There is also a photo station where visitors can get their picture taken in scenic spots across the country, including the iconic Table Mountain.
Another must-see stand from this brand is the art installation where one can get a free ice-cream macaroon. I suggest trying the Bombay Crush flavour.
Township Tours in South Africa
There is something about township tours that intrigue me. I have been to one, but the sheer experience one receives is out of this world.
A series of township operators joined forces to promote their tourism offerings in this stall.
Neo Ramothata, one of the operators, said the decor elements resembled the townships of today. He said the stand encompasses what a typical day in a township would be like.
Judging by the large number of visitors flocking to stand, I believe Gauteng, where the tours are based, will have many more visitors soon.
Hidden Gems Pavilion
Fancy visiting an unseal destination or take part in a mind blowing adventure? Well, if the answer is yes, you should head down to the Hidden Gems Pavillion.
There are a range of businesses showcasing their offerings.
Who knew one could cycle on an electric bike through the streets of Alexandra in Gauteng or enjoy a full day art tour in East London...
Tourism Grading Council of South Africa
This stand speaks opulence. Fine chandeliers hang from the ceiling while the room is scattered with great pieces of furniture where 27 five-star establishments would be displaying their products.
The stand's theme is lap of luxury so guests can indulge in some meals while making their next booking.
The Sun International stand is hidden among other hotel chains, but it was undoubtedly one of the best with its stunning luxury setting.
They are hoping to give visitors the five-star experiences with in-house chefs preparing sumptuous meals and great coffee.
The hotel brand won best stand at last year’s Indaba, could they win it again this year?
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
There is a lion at Indaba and it can be found at the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife stand.
The life-size, and once alive lion, has been one of the biggest attractions at this year’s event.
A photograph of you and the lion that is posted on Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Facebook page could win you a two night stay for 4 people at one of their big five establishments. Visit the stand for more information.