Africa's Travel Indaba, the biggest travel and tourism trade show in Africa, returns to Durban.
Africa's Travel Indaba, the biggest travel and tourism trade show in Africa, returns to Durban.

The who’s who of the tourism world will be in attendance. The event takes place at the Durban International Convention Centre from May 8-10. Those attending will get to see a variety of the continent’s best tourism products from more than 1000 exhibitors.

There are 21 African countries participating.

For the past 35 years, Africa’s Travel Indaba has put the continent on the map through its thought-provoking seminars, presentations and exhibition stands.

The event has also had a positive impact on Durban’s economy. Just last year, Indaba contributed more R85million to eThekwini’s GDP and raised close to R6m in government taxes.

“Africa’s Stories. Your Success” is the theme for this year’s travel and tourism trade show.

Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, the chief Convention Bureau officer of SA Tourism, said: “Trade shows such as Africa’s Travel Indaba provide a vital platform for buying and selling of tourism products. But it also provides a platform for collaboration and dialogue around issues and policies affecting tourism. “We were able to grow our number of buyers and exhibitions to formidable figures last year and are excited about what new opportunities this year will bring.”

Kotze-Nhlapo said guests would see a revamp on many of the existing offerings, including Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) and the Hidden Gems Pavilion.

Hidden Gems had been a big drawcard since it was introduced last year.

Owing to its popularity, the offerings have been augmented from 90 to 135 stands, with all nine provinces being represented.

The organisers have upped the ante this year with the Lunch Hour slot. This is where tourism stakeholders discuss business and travel over a meal, which is set to revolutionise food travel in Africa. The aim is to showcase South Africa.

Africa’s Travel Indaba has a few surprises, one that Kotze-Nhlapo wanted to keep mum about.

“Indaba showcases to the world what Africa has to offer. International visitors are always moved by Africa and its offerings when they visit.”

The downtime options include the city’s blue flag beaches, a township experience, a game drive to find the Big Five and plenty of culinary adventures.