South African Tourism, led by President Jacob Zuma officially opened Indaba at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on the 16th May 2017. Indaba is Africa’s leading leisure tourism trade show, attracting buyers from across the world and exhibitors from across the African continent as well as local and international media. The show, which has been running for 37 years, attracts about 7000 delegates from Africa’s top tourism products and experiences. It is the interface and an exciting and informative platform between buyers and sellers. It is a one stop shop for the complete African leisure travel experience, and a proven event for business growth particularly now at a time where Africa is showing strong inbound growth.
In 2016 alone, Indaba facilitated 14 thousand meetings, creating 14 thousand new business leads in just 3 days; delivering unsurpassed value to all delegates. Indaba is geared towards making Africa’s tourism business grow – Tourism in Africa is on the rise and Indaba is fully committed to bringing West Africa along on the voyage. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa’s strong performance makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia. Tourism in Africa is a vast potential yet to be fully exploited.
South African Tourism (SAT) has invested significantly in the lucrative and growing West African market, opening it’s first regional marketing office outside South Africa in Lagos. (2014) This has proved to be an advantageous move as arrivals from Nigeria to South Africa has grown significantly at a double digit average rate of 10 % since 2010 – 2014. Building on the success of partnerships and collaborations, Indaba gives the opportunity of more business, and profitable friendships to be done between South Africa and West Africa.
SAT West Africa continues to strengthen its partnership and collaboration with the West African Trade / Tour Operator Associations from Ghana and Nigeria in advancing tourism. 28 Nigerian Tourism delegates are hosted by SAT at Indaba this year, as well as three trade associations NTDC (Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation) The Director General of Nigerian Tourism (DG ), Folorunsho Coker and GTA (Ghana Tourism Authority) CEO, Akwasi Agyeman
In recent years, SAT has run a series of trade workshops in West Africa, this has allowed trade associations to showcase Nigeria and Ghana tourism experiences to South African delegates. This has strengthened partnerships, and allowed for cross selling of the countries.
Exhibitor opportunities have now been extended to West Africa at Indaba 2017. This opens up channels for Nigeria and Ghana to further develop the growing tourism industry, meet with top international buyers, in turn showcasing unique products and tourism experiences here in West Africa.
It is very heartwarming to see that the Nigerian government of the day is now tilting its focus towards expanding and developing the tourism sector which is evident by the presence of DG for Nigerian tourism, (Director-General) Folorunsho Coker at Indaba. Collaborations are crucial to growing Nigeria’s tourism sector.
The message here from SAT is clear, Africa can win together; Indaba opens up the opportunity for West African tourism to have exposure to thought leaders and products that are the key to unlocking industry success. A networking of suppliers, forging of alliances and sharing of new tourism ideas.
In a welcome address, Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism mentions “Our aim is to show the world that Africa’s tourism industry is open for business and is ripe with possibility”.
On it’s opening day, The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma announced the new tourism campaign initiative #Wedotourism #Indaba2017, urging South Africa to promote tourism to the world.
Indaba 2017 has definitely set out to bring West Africa along on its journey of selling destination travel in Africa to the world.