Published on : Monday, May 13, 2019
This year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba brought together over 6,500 delegates which included 1,033 exhibitors and 1,502 buyers at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC).
Hanekom’s speech focused on the future of Africa’s tourism industry, saying that by 2030, the continent would be
welcoming some 126-million international tourists. “Are we up to it? Yes, we most definitely are.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa made a surprise visit to the event, addressing tourism industry and media delegates. Throughout his address, Ramaphosa emphasised the tourism industry’s importance in growing Africa’s economy and promoting a country’s identity. “Tourism is the one of the most international industries as it showcases the country’s identity and offerings to the world. If you want to showcase what you produce, clothing, food and arts, tourism is that window all of us can present to the world.”
Below are some of the highlights of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019
Green Stand Awards
Being held at Africa’s Travel Indaba for the first time – following on numerous successful years at Meetings Africa – the Green Stand Awards recognised eight companies with environmentally friendly stands. The biggest winners of the event included Classic Safari Africa, which won the platinum pavilion award, and Thompson’s Tourism, which walked away with the platinum award in the large stand category.
Business Talks is one of the premier events that takes place over the duration of Africa’s Travel Indaba with industry experts engaging on a variety of issues.
Ranging from panel discussions on how rural communities can benefit from wildlife to South African Tourism board member Thebe Ikalafeng’s recounting of his cross-Africa travels, this year’s business talks was a great hub for sharing knowledge and ideas.
The discussions also featured speakers from outside of the African continent. Wall mural unveiling
The unveiling of a wall mural at the African Tourism Indaba 2019 represents a big step forward in driving the opportunities culture can bring to tourism.
Speaking at the unveiling, Michelle Constant, a member of the South African Tourism (SA Tourism) board, says one of the great challenges for South Africans is unlocking the great potential of its’ extraordinary historical and present culture. “If we think about the five pillars of tourism, one of these is cultural roots and through this we can drive creativity. Today’s unveiling of this mural is an opportunity for us to demonstrate this,” said Constant.
Africa’s Travel Indaba Speed Marketing session started off with a burst of energy as buyers from all over the world
came together to hear what South African exhibitors have to offer.
One offering coming out of Limpopo seemed to capture the buyers’ imagination. Tahs-Sa Traditional African
Homestays South Africa offers travellers the chance to live like a local in the heartland of Limpopo. “They have about
25 families that opened up their homes and they would go and live with and cook and basically do everything,” said
Kenyan buyer and Executive Director of Africa Visa Travel Services, Vincent Maingi.
South Africa voted best safari experience in Africa
South Africa has been named best safari experience in Africa by the Safari Awards Africa 2019. South Africa won the award as it came out tops in 10 of the 18 categories of the Awards.
The award is a differentiator for South African Tourism. “The importance of this award is that it sets us apart from all the other safari destinations as we have the unique advantage of being able to showcase our world class ocean safaris with our incredible land safari offerings. Being awarded this prestigious accolade is a true honour,” said Bradley Brouwer, Head of Global Trade for SA Tourism.
South African Tourism acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini thanked all involved for making Africa’s Travel Indaba a success. “We are extremely grateful for the efforts of our bid parties, agencies and suppliers who ensured that we hosted another awesome Africa’s Travel Indaba,” said Dlamini.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) were equally thrilled by their participation at Africa’s Travel Indaba.
“TKZN hosted a tourist industry stakeholder stake holder breakfast where the MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala announced the construction of a R1 billion new Beach resort on the KZN North Coast that will be opened in 2022, answering a long -standing need from the trade,” commented Phindile Makwakwa, acting CEO at TKZN.
“We also welcome news that 14 private sector companies are coming on board to provide a global marketing campaign for the KZN Province, demonstrating confidence in our tourism infrastructure and diversified producing offering,” added Makwakwa.