South African Tourism says it will reschedule this year's Africa Travel Indaba after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday the country would hold national elections on May 8.
The 2019 edition of the tourism conference was due to take place on May 6-9 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, which also serves as the nerve centre for elections in the KwaZulu Natal province.
South African Tourism chief executive Sisa Ntshona said the organisation was exploring viable alternative options.
"We also need to consult with our various partners and stakeholders and appreciate the understanding of our buyers, exhibitors and delegates who will now await a new date to attend Indaba," Ntshona said.
"We know the importance of Indaba to the travel industry and want to ensure that we are still able to provide a world-class show despite having to change the date."
Chief executive of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, said buyers and exhibitors would have planned around the original date.
"There are also other global shows during this period, but we would like to re-assure the industry that despite the new date, Indaba will still be a fantastic show to attend and would like to encourage you to attend once the new date is confirmed," Tshivhengwa said.
The Africa Travel Indaba is the continent's biggest travel and trade show, with over 7,000 delegates from 80 countries attending last year’s event.
- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa