Africa’s Travel Indaba expected to contribute more than R1.2 billion with a hotel occupancy of 85% as delegates flock to Durban

Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela. Supplied

Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela. Supplied

Published Apr 25, 2024


Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 (ATI) is well on track to outperform last year’s event and is expected to contribute more than R1.2 billion to the national fiscus.

The event is set to take place at the Inkosi Albert International Convention Centre in Durban from 13 to 16 May during Africa Month.

Tourism deputy minister Fish Mahlalela revealed that with 990 confirmed exhibitors from 26 African countries, over 1000 buyers and 120 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) taking part in the exhibition, Durban hotels can expect to enjoy 85% occupancy rates during the event.

He said that a South African Tourism survey revealed that last year’s ATI 2024’s made a total economic contribution of R1.2 billion to the national fiscus which included a direct contribution to the South African economy of approximately R408.6 million and an additional indirect contribution of R776.4 million.

He also added that ATI 2023 created or sustained 2 295 jobs and contributed R75 million to the national government taxes and this year’s event is expected to make more.

“Despite the subdued economic environment, we are optimistic that the 2024 instalment will match or surpass these figures. Africa’s Travel Indaba remains one of the top four global trade travel and tourism trade shows.

“The sheer scale and the number of delegates that attend is not only testament to this but also speaks to the value that this trade continues to provide to all delegates,” he said.

Also speaking on the positive impact that ATI has on the economy, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Siboniso Duma, ATI’s value came from targeted opportunities for networking and connecting to advance meaningful business for buyers and exhibitors.

He said that the ATI played an important role in tourism growth and destination marketing efforts of the province.

“The destination marketing and publicity value of the ATI is immeasurable. The impact of the arrival of hundreds of international visitors from as far as the USA, UK, Europe, India , Asia and the East would be extended as many elected to spend additional time exploring,” said Duma.

He also noted that South Africa’s international tourist numbers were growing rapidly, boosting international visitors to KZN as over the past year, 646 234 international visitors came to the province and KZN is expected to welcome over 800 000 international visitors in the coming year, surpassing 2019 arrivals.

“More tourists means more people spending money on accommodation, transport, restaurants and food, entertainment and sightseeing.

“This not only maintains the estimated 161 000 direct jobs in the KZN tourism sector, but leads to the expansion of tourism, creating more jobs for local people and opportunities for entrepreneurs to start their own tourism businesses,” he said.