* 350 products, 1000 buyers, and1000 exhibitors converge in Durban
From May 9 to 11, the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in Kwazulu Natal hosted Africa's premier tourism trade show – the Africa Travel Indaba.
Held under the theme "Shaping Africa's Tomorrow, Through Connection Today", the four-day meeting, which commenced on Tuesday, served as a productive business platform for Africa’s tourism industry to negotiate and finalise deals.
The event attracted over 350 products, 1000 buyers from various sectors within the tourism industry, numerous delegates from the tourism industry and approximately 1000 exhibitors.
Among the attendees were destination marketing bodies, hotel groups, airlines, tour operators, 10 African tourism boards, and 21 representatives from African countries.
Speaking at the event South Africa’s Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille, cautioned that while competition is often considered the lifeblood of destination marketing and tourism, it is important to always balance such competition with collaboration.
“Healthy competition in the tourism industry can drive growth and innovation, whereas unhealthy competition can lead to a race that leads to the bottom,” she warned.
De Lille emphasised that every participant has a distinct responsibility in fostering the growth of the tourism industry, not only in South Africa but also across the entire continent.
Attendees of the Africa Travel Indaba expressed optimism that the meeting will inspire fresh ideas to propel the expansion of their businesses.
For Dawson Ramsden, Chief of Staff for Okavango Wilderness Safaris, such platforms offer opportunities to forge new relationships with travel partners.
“Events like Africa’s Travel Indaba provide valuable opportunities to establish new relationships with travel partners and strengthen existing ones. “It serves as an ideal platform to promote and market our conservation policies, which have played a crucial role in preserving our delicate fauna and flora” he said.