African tourism on show at Indaba 2012

7 May 2012

Southern Africa's biggest tourism showcase, Indaba 2012, takes place at Durban's International Convention Centre from 12 to 15 May.

Despite a general flat to downward trend worldwide, South Africa's tourism industry has been performing strongly, a fact that is reflected in the more than 13 000 delegates from around the world who are expected to attend Indaba 2012.

1 800 exhibitors, 200 hosted international buyers

Approximately 1 800 exhibitors will showcase new products reflecting the latest global trends in tourism, while representatives of influential industry stakeholders, along with over 200 international hosted buyers, will be guests at the event.

"To be successful in the tourism industry requires the joint effort, hard work and cohesion of all partners to achieve continued tourism growth," South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima said in a recent statement.

Indaba would facilitate this effort by providing "the best platforms and matchmaking opportunities to conduct business."

Digital competitiveness, Indaba App

The programme will include three speed marketing sessions focusing on sustainable and responsible tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, and adventure tourism.

TripAdvisor, the influential travel website on which travellers get to review their travel experiences, will present a workshop on digital competitiveness, which was identified as a key focus area during Indaba 2011.

In an effort to reduce Indaba 2012's carbon footprint, an Indaba App has been developed, available for download from the event's website for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android devices.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has said that his department aims to increase South Africa's foreign tourist arrivals from seven-million in 2009 to 15-million by 2020, at the same time growing tourism's contribution to the economy from R189-billion to R499-billion and creating 225 000 new jobs.

Over eight-million tourists visited South Africa in 2011 - a 3.3% increase over the 2010 World Cup year that would, if football-specific arrivals were not counted, have amounted to a 7.4% increase over 2010, well ahead of the global average of 4.4% annual growth.

SAinfo reporter

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International Convention Centre, Durban (Photo: ICC Durban)

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