Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023 was a phenomenal success, Acting Chief Conventions Bureau Officer at South African Tourism Zinhle Nzama has said.
According to initial indications, this year’s Indaba surpassed projections with a remarkable 8,629 delegates, hosting 21,000 meetings between exhibitors and international buyers.
Additionally, the event featured no less than a 1,000 international buyers and 1,023 exhibitors who showcased an impressive array of products.
Ms. Nzama told the media on Thursday that the 2023 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba has been successful.
“We set out to deliver a show that would showcase the best of the African continent and we did just that and we could not have done it without our partners and of course, the greater African tourism industry,” said Ms. Nzama
She said this when she addressed the media wrap-up conference of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023, hosted by Durban Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Tourism, South African Tourism, and Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC).
She emphasized that Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023 significantly outperformed last year’s event, boasting an impressive 21,000 meetings compared to 13,000 in 2022.
Furthermore, the exhibition featured the participation of 22 African countries including Zambia.
“It was important for Tourism Kwa Zulu-Natal to make Africa’s Travel Indaba a truly Pan-African event in collaboration with SA Tourism and other partners,” said Phindile Makwakwa, the Chief Operating Officer at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal.
“A strong element of Indaba was the hosting of buyers and media on pre and post-tours to various destinations so they can experience these for themselves and package Kwa Zulu-Natal for their clients,” added Makwakwa encouraging the partners to maintain unity and continue “hunting in a pack.”
Ms. Makwakwa, is eagerly anticipating Durban becoming the permanent home of Indaba.
She expressed confidence in the partnership between ICC Durban, the City of Durban, Tourism KZN and South African Tourism, emphasizing that they have been putting their “best foot forward.”
“We are likely to exceed our projections for Africa’s Travel Indaba, which contributes significantly to the Durban Gross Domestic Product (estimated at R130 million), hotel and non-hotel occupancy (at 80 per cent), and actual spending (amounting to R78 million), resulting in the creation of 250 job opportunities,” stated Winile Mntungwa, Deputy Head of Durban Tourism.
Ms. Mntungwa emphasized that the experience of hosting Indaba in Durban was “profound.” She further described Indaba as a “mega” event for the city, providing immeasurable exposure to the world.
Ms. Mntungwa expressed her gratitude to the international media for their extensive coverage and extended her well wishes to the delegates.
Additionally, she revealed Durban’s exciting plans, including establishing an international film city, a new shopping centre (West Town), a mixed-use development, efforts to enhance cruise tourism, and the revival of the Waterfront Point Development.
John Aritho, Chief Operating Officer at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, expressed his admiration for South African Tourism, describing the 2023 edition of the show as “electric” as he conveyed his enthusiasm for its success.
He stated ‘I take my hat off to South African Tourism’
He also mentioned that the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC is currently reimagining the precincts to include restaurants and other amenities essential for hosting conferences of the ICC’s magnitude.
Speaking during the official opening on Tuesday, Tourism Minister, Patricia De Lille, expressed her commitment to collaborating with counterparts across the continent.
“I take my hat off to South African Tourism, concluded Aritho.