9 things to expect at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba

Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela addressing delegates at last year’s edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba. Picture: Bongani Mbatha Independent Newspapers

Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela addressing delegates at last year’s edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba. Picture: Bongani Mbatha Independent Newspapers

Published May 9, 2024


Delegates from around the world are expected to descend upon Durban next week for Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) 2024.

Scheduled to take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) from Monday, May 13, to Thursday, May 16, the theme for this year is “Unlimited Africa.”

The three-day trade show is owned by South African Tourism (SAT) and is hosted in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal province and the City of Durban.

SAT explained that this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba promises to be a dynamic event, filled with networking opportunities.

It is also expected to be a celebration of Africa’s warm and welcoming citizens as well as new and authentic proudly African experiences and established tourism products.

Here is what to expect at ATI 2024:

Business Opportunities Day (BONDay)

Poised for advancing Africa’s excellence, the event is preceded by a dedicated Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay), which is developed in close collaboration with the greater tourism industry.

This will take place on Monday, May 13, with the aim of providing a platform for driving thought leadership and exploring topical global tourism insights under four identified streams – unlimited, discover, connect and grow – while advancing knowledge sharing.

High-quality buyers

Dedicated to matching high-quality buyers with exceptional African products and creating valuable opportunities for everyone involved, ATI attracts buyers from around the world who are specifically interested in destination Africa.

The show’s online diary and matchmaking system is globally benchmarked and encompasses technology and innovation that is superior.

Large number of exhibitors

With a fully sold-out floor space, the trade show showcases the diverse leisure tourism products that the continent has to offer.

It will see more than 1 100 exhibitors from across Africa promote their offerings to international and local buyers as it furthers connections and collaborations that shape the future of the African tourism sector.

Speed marketing sessions

SAT through the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) provides a platform for both new and existing tourism products to shine.

Speed marketing sessions is a key feature of ATI and serves as a pivotal market access platform. Not only does this platform facilitate product showcasing, but it also stimulates fruitful discussions and negotiations essential for business growth.

At this year’s trade show, exhibitors will seize the invaluable opportunity to promote their offerings under three distinct themes:

1) Kasi Flavour: Focusing on township and culture/heritage products.

2) Wet Adrenaline: Focusing on active adventure and coastal beaches products.

3) Visit the Wild: Focusing on safari and camping products.

Networking connections for business growth

There is value for all delegates at ATI, including impactful networking and engagement sessions to drive business. The show’s official welcome networking event seeks to immerse delegates in an authentic Durban experience and will take place on Tuesday, May 14.

Unique Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs)

The gathering continues to put a firm focus on Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). Under the banner of, “Hidden Gems Zone”, these enterprises representing authentic and unique products and experiences, will participate through the Tourism Market Access Programme by the Department of Tourism.

This is aimed at stimulating the growth, development and transformation of the South African tourism sector. This in turn contributes to stimulating enterprise growth and to contribute to job creation, revenue growth and an enhanced visitor experience.

Economic impact and growth

Africa’s Travel Indaba is not only a celebration of Africa’s tourism industry, but also an impactful economic driver. The trade show plays a significant role in the city and the province’s growth and economy.

Last year, ATI contributed more than R1 billion to the national fiscus. The 2023 trade show also created and sustained 2 295 jobs. Projections indicate that the 2024 event is also expected to inject a substantial amount into South Africa’s economy, highlighting the crucial role tourism plays in boosting the economy.

Proudly Pan-African

It addition to featuring a wide selection of African tourism products and offerings, highlighting the continent’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, ATI also takes place during Africa Month and is testament to the resilience and vibrancy of the continent’s tourism industry.

Technology and innovation

Through digital influence and innovation, the sndaba promises to enhance the delegates’ experience at the show. The show will be equipped with new technologies to elevate the user journey, including the upgraded mobile app which has a newly integrated indoor navigation feature for ease of movement around the trade floor.