Tourism Indaba 2015, the definitive travel and tourism tradeshow, is underway in Durban bringing together a team of exhibitors whose mutual aim is to drive Africa forward.
Taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, hosted buyer numbers are up on last year, with 299 hosted buyers from international tourism markets.
These markets include Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.
Of those buyers, 285 are from outside South Africa.
Over 90 per cent of Indaba exhibiting floor space is assigned to exhibitors.
INDABA’s exhibitor list represents the depth and breadth of African and South African travel and tourism offerings.
Products and experiences in each of South Africa’s provinces are richly represented at this annual event which puts South African and African travel destinations on the map.
South African minister of tourism, Derek Hanekom, who is at Indaba for the first time, commented: “This year Indaba welcomes destinations from across Africa.
“It brings several African tourism ministers together to share lessons and strengthen collaboration across the continent. It is also a good opportunity to promote regional marketing initiatives.
“But above all I would hope that Indaba 2015 succeeds in creating a platform for both buyers and exhibitors to do good business, and thereby advance Africa’s economic development.”
Tour operators are present, selling authentic and amazing South African experiences: from big five game viewing; to scuba diving; river rafting; arts and crafts safaris; and living it up in the rich and culturally diverse texture of South Africa’s amazing, capable and welcoming cities.
A full range of accommodation establishments are present, from backpacker establishments and family-run inns, to luxury accommodations.
Other exhibitors include special and unique offerings from: cooking safaris, hot air balloon rides, white shark cage diving and luxury train trips.
Commenting from the show Joe Cloete, group general manager, Shamwari, said: “Indaba remains a very important trade show to attend for Shamwari Group although it seems that numbers are down and the other various trade shows that have preceded Indaba have had an impact on Indaba.
“There are specific buyers who always attend Indaba.
“The key is always to meet and contract with new buyers which determines the success of the show.”
Shamwari Game Reserve was recently recognised was the World’s Leading Eco-Lodge by the World Travel Awards.
The exhibitors represent the diverse range of South Africa’s destination experiences.
They are each there to put out a welcoming hand to buyers and get down to the business of marketing a destination so that they, the people they employ, and the industry they work in can continue thriving.
Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa managing director George Cohen added: “The event is so important for Saxon Hotel, and South Africa in general as it is an opportunity for us to feature not only our beautiful destination but also our properties to an audience that we might not be able to reach out to through other sales and marketing efforts.
“We have been hosting meetings with clients and potential clients who may be interested in the destination and as always it has been extremely successful for us.”
Space on the tradeshow floor for pan-African exhibitors outside of the SADC zone has grown from 335 square metres last year to 350 square metres this year.