Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom unveiled a colourful 22-metre long mural the launch of this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba.
The mural, designed by four local artists, is inspired by the We Do Tourism motto and pays homage to the city and its people.
Hanekom, who kept his keynote speech short and sweet, said the annual event was synonymous for storytelling.
“This year’s theme emphasises the importance of telling our own stories and showcasing our success. Too often the real stories of Africa are simply not told or not heard. This continent is teeming with stories that are woven into all our products and experiences guests will get to learn about at this year’s Indaba.”
He said tourism must bring tangible and lasting benefits.
“We need to support products that promote responsible tourism. The Department of Tourism has supported 100 small, micro and medium enterprises to participate in Indaba and will offer buyers a variety of choices,” he said.
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, said the event brought together local and international stakeholders in the tourism sector.
“Growth and sustainability of tourism depend on forging strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships. This Indaba will promote collaboration, experience sharing, and private-public partnerships to maximise the benefits of tourism. For our province and our country, it must also help us advance transformation, inclusive growth, and job creation.
“We are confident that this tourism fare will go far in strengthening the historic bonds and trade between South Africa and the people of our continent. The future of our country is tied to the future of Africa. Of all international tourists that land on our shores, 60% come from sister African countries,” he said.
Zikalala added that they will continue to maintain and grow our traditional and lucrative tourism markets in places like the UK, India, the US, and Germany.
Africa’s Travel Indaba has put the continent on the map with its thought-provoking seminars, presentations and exhibition stands for the past 36 years. This year’s theme is “Africa’s Stories. Your Success”.
The aim is to promote Africa as being a thriving continent.
Travel Indaba will launch the Green Stand Awards, which recognises exhibitors who build and design stands that are environmentally and socially sustainable.
Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) and the Hidden Gems Pavilion are some of the other revamped attractions at the three-day event.