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Durban hots up for Indaba 2018

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SA Tourism Chief Executive Sisa Ntshona

Registration has opened for Africa’s Travel Indaba, which will transform Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre into a lively hub of activity from 8 to 10 May 2018, under the theme, Africa’s Stories, Your Success.

Owned and managed by South African Tourism, Indaba has over the past 37 years established itself as the continent’s premier tourism trade show.

“We are excited to be moving into 2018 with renewed energy and focus following the rebranding of the show as Africa’s Travel Indaba. This new positioning affirms that the show belongs to the entire African travel industry, and that at its heart is stimulating tourism and inclusive economic development on our continent,” said South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona.

According to Ntshona, participants have many enhancements to look forward to at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2018.

Africa’s Travel Indaba attracts about 7 000 delegates from all over the world, and last year the trade show bustled with more than 1 000 exhibiting businesses from 18 African countries, showcasing an array of travel and tourism offerings to almost 1 500 local and international buyers.

Evelyn Mahlaba, General Regional Manager looking after the Africa region at South African Tourism, added that Indaba is an important business-to-business marketing platform that facilitates business growth for travel trade partners across the continent.

Meanwhile, last year’s group of buyers achieved admirable business successes, which the organisers hope to build on in 2018 for the benefit of not only South Africa’s tourism industry, but also for the continent as a whole.

“We have managed to put together excellent educational for our sales staff with Sun International as well as all-inclusive travel packages that did so well that we sold them all. South African Airways gave us their ITX Fares for packaging and we managed to do an incentive trip for Standard Bank of 104 people to Durban – thanks to Indaba,” says Rob McConaghy, Managing Director at Ulendo Travel Group in Malawi.

Love for Africa, Southern Africa Travel Specialist, operating out of Zimbabwe stated that business picked up because of their participation in last year’s Indaba.

“Our business for 2018 is looking phenomenal and our bookings are up. We’ve signed deals with a few more properties in South Africa and have had quite a few of our current clients add South Africa onto their itineraries,” says Erica O’Donnel, Executive Director at Love for Africa.

According to the Business Development Manager, George Ogola, The Continental Travel Group in Kenya was able to confirm a significant amount of bookings in 2017, across hotels, transfers, and excursions, which generated substantial profit for the company.

Buyers from countries such as Angola, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe attended the event last year.

Significantly, said Ntshona, the 2017 event saw more than 20 000 confirmed business matchmaking meetings taking place between businesses and travel buyers – up by 47% over the previous year’s figure.

“This indicates that businesses are extracting value out of their participation in Africa’s Travel Indaba, with an online matchmaking system that closely pairs buyers’ needs with exhibitors’ offerings. This saves time and makes for a more efficient and productive trade show, where networks are expanded and business deals are sealed,” said Ntshona.


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