Africa to descend on Durban

Deputy Tourism Minister Fish Mahlalela is expecting Africa’s Travel Indaba to highlight the continent’s leisure tourism offerings. | SUPPLIED

Deputy Tourism Minister Fish Mahlalela is expecting Africa’s Travel Indaba to highlight the continent’s leisure tourism offerings. | SUPPLIED

Published Apr 28, 2024


Durban — Travel industry experts, including exhibitors from various African nations, will be showcasing their products at one of the largest global tourism trade shows to take place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from May 13 to 16.

The delegates attending Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) are expected to benefit from tailored networking sessions, panel discussions, speed-marketing sessions showcasing new tourism products and a wide variety of products from across the African tourism sector, among other things.

About 990 exhibitors from 26 African countries have been secured, with more expected to join. Over 1000 buyers and 120 small, medium and micro enterprises will be participating.

Speaking at the launch of the ATI at the Bat Centre in Durban on Tuesday, Deputy Tourism Minister Fish Mahlalela said this year’s event was themed “Unlimited Africa”, emphasising “the wide variety of products and experiences across Africa”.

Citing the South African Tourism survey, Mahlalela said last year’s event made an economic contribution of R1.2billion to the national fiscus, including a direct contribution to the South African economy of at least R408.6million, with an additional indirect contribution of R776.4m.

Mahlalela said the ATI’s values lay in its targeted opportunities for networking and connecting to advance meaningful businesses for buyers and exhibitors and that it was a truly global trade show that was not to be missed.

“It is clear that the ATI is an expression of a continent that has been hard at work to address various challenges and barriers to promote seamless travel,” he said.

Mahlalela said the primary objective of the show was to highlight Africa’s leisure tourism offerings.

“As the continent’s premier travel and tourism trade show, ATI is a critical platform for showcasing Africa’s diversity and fostering collaborations among its nationals,” he said.

Mahlalela said the show would be in line with Africa Month.

“I find it fitting for Africa’s Travel Indaba to take place at the same time and the same venue where the AU was founded and that it is taking place during the month, highlighting the interdependency and the interconnectedness as Africans,” he said.

Mahlalela called for the entrance of women into tourism and into leadership positions.

“We need to ensure that we transform tourism in terms of ownership and structural arrangement so that we make sure that it becomes diversified and represents the demography of South Africa,” he said.

The KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma, said the province was keen to host the event.

“We are excited to welcome Africa Travel Indaba 2024 to all categories of government departments and entities. We will also work with SA Tourism, Tourism KZN, KZN Film Commission, KZN Liquor Authority and Ezemvelo who are at the core of ensuring that this becomes a major milestone.”

Tshukudu Moepadira, managing director of Neo Star Travel and Tours, said the event played a significant role in helping him establish new partnerships, generate leads and increase their visibility within the industry.

Moepadira said they would showcase their new tour packages and offerings, strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones, gain exposure to new markets and opportunities, and stay updated on industry trends.

Sunday Tribune