Tourism KwaZulu-Natal is preparing for one of the biggest trade shows in the world, ITB Berlin, to network with exhibitors and contacts and to drum up business for the province eager to solidify its impact among German tourists who are its main source market.
From March 6-9, the annual ITB Berlin trade show will be showcasing the products and services of more than 10 000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries and regions.
“KZN has embraced the global and fast moving pace of connecting people and cities with the recent introduction of direct British Airways flights to Durban from London. The ITB allows the European market like Germany, which is our top three international source markets, to make their travel seamless.
“German visitors mostly travel to the province for leisure, rather than business and we are confident our presence at ITB sends a signal that we are back to show them more of what we have on offer,’’ said Phindile Makwakwa, the acting Chief Executive Officer.
The other top five long haul source markets for KZN are United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, France and India.
Statistics show that some 48 958 German holiday-makers visited KZN in 2016, boosting the local tourism economy and helping to sustain jobs in the hospitality sector.
The German market is the world’s third leading generator of international tourism expenditure (US$79.9-billion in 2017) and South Africa’s third most important long-haul market. German visitors also contributed the third highest amounts to South African tourism in 2016 (R4.4-billion) after the UK (R7.5-bn) and the USA (R6.2-bn).