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Travel Indaba ends with great success

By Francis Doku II Contributor
Travel & Tourism Travel Indaba ends with great success
MON, 20 MAY 2024 LISTEN

The 2024 edition of Africa’s Tourism Indaba (ATI) has ended with many exhibitors showing gratitude to the organisers, South Africa Tourism for the opportunity created and the connections achieved over the three days that continental trade show took place.

Held at Durban’s Nkosi Albert Lithuli International Convention Center (Durban ICC) and Durban Exhibition Hall, the 2024 ATI created an “excellent opportunity for us to showcase our city’s hospitality and to demonstrate our commitment to promoting tourism on the continent,” said Lindiwe Rakharebe, Chief Executive Officer of Durban ICC.

During the three-day Trade Show, buyers had the opportunity to engage directly with exhibitors, to explore new business opportunities and foster connections for future business. In total, about 1,261 exhibitors and 25 African countries as well as over 1,000 buyers from 55 countries represented. Of the African countries, Guinea and Eritrea were representing for the first time.

Performing the official Trade Floor opening for the ATI on Tuesday 14th May, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Honourable Patricia De Lille extolled the beauty of Africa and the unlimited potential of the continent, which boasted diverse landscapes, cultures and experiences that offered limitless possibilities for growth and exploration.

“Africa’s Travel Indaba emphasizes the importance of networking, collaboration and building bridges across borders. It is one of the powerful platforms that we must continue to use to drive and advance a positive and powerful African tourism story,” said Hon. De Lille.

The tourism minister said a lot had been achieved since last year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba, which includes cabinet of South Africa approving the Tourism Sector Master plan, that includes a recovery plan for the sector post COVID-19.

“We also relaunched the R1.2 billion (circa $65million) Tourism Equity Fund to support the growth of emerging tourism enterprises,” said De Lille.

The 2024 ATI started on Monday 13th with the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay), a pivotal precursor to the main event of Africa’s Travel Indaba before the trade floor opening on Tuesday with trading taking till Thursday 16th May.

The CEO of South Africa Tourism Nombulelo Guliwe Guliwe had welcomed all delegates and participants to the 2024 ATI on BONDay with the assurance that this would be a great Indaba for all.

“Themed, “Unlimited Africa”, Africa’s Travel Indaba is about networking and securing new opportunities. It is about the inclusivity of the African continent to drive collective economic

growth through tourism. Working together will make us thrive, it will send a message that we are players on the international stage especially as we collectively drive issues like fair trade, women empowerment, sustainability and climate change issues. Africa’s Travel Indaba,” Guliwe noted.

She noted that by creating job opportunities, and supporting local businesses, improving livelihoods and fostering economic empowerment tourism’s role in economic development and empowerment cannot be disputed.

“Let us harness the power of tourism to not only create lasting economic value but also to foster greater understanding, which drives our destinations’ appeal and attractiveness for both domestic and international travelers,” she said.

Africa’s Travel Indaba is the leading travel trade show in Africa, owned by South African Tourism, with the specific objective of creating market access for the vast array of African tourism products and businesses.

The trade show exists to provide the ideal platform for African tourism exhibitors to showcase their offerings to international and local buyers, destination marketing companies and leisure tourism services partners. It is the most formidable platform on the continent for travel trade practitioners to meet face-to-face with the most influential buyers in the world, and to gain access to Africa’s travel industry big shots.

Story by Francis Doku, a travel writer and host of the Africa Rising travel podcast.

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