The Indaba, a three-day showcase event at the Inkosi Luthuli Durban ICC, boasts that it is the most dynamic travel and tourism show in Africa.
The show kicked off yesterday with colourful traditional dances by local artists before the official opening by President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma said the indaba was a wonderful way to celebrate Africa Month, where a rich diversity of SA tourism products were on show under one roof. “Tourism is riding the crest of the wave in Africa and the world, and the tourism forecast is looking bright.
“The industry contributes 9% to the country’s GDP and sustains at least 700000 jobs. Tourism in Africa is growing at twice the rate of tourism around the globe,” he said.
Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) CEO Vuyani Dayimani said they had partnered with provincial stakeholders like BCM, Sarah Baartman district municipality and Umzimvubu municipality to display the best the province has to offer under its brand “adventure province”.
“This year’s focus for ECPTA and the province is to ensure that Eastern Cape tourism stakeholders continue to work as a united front towards a responsive and inclusive marketing approach that effectively promotes numerous elements of the province and its tourism offerings, nature-based experiences and authentic cultural interactions.
“We have gems like the seven wonders of the Sarah Baartman region and BCM’s official launch of East London as a golf destination to boast about.
“The importance of exposing provincial tourism products at the Indaba is unparalleled as the show is one of the largest tourism networking platforms on the African calendar and is able to unlock doors for tourism players.
“Indaba attracts international buyers and media from across the globe who are interested in southern Africa’s best tourism products.
“ECPTA, together with its partners, are using the platform as a direct link between trade and businesses.”
Dayimani said they were providing 14 small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) with the opportunity to attend the indaba through a variety of partnership programmes. Tourism provided two out of every three private-sector jobs but operators struggled to trade, he said. “ECPTA wants to grow the tourism sector of the province.
“We partner with SMMEs by providing training and support for effectiveness at trade shows like these so they can engage proactively and promote their establishments and surroundings,” he said.
By Mbali Tanana – DispatchLIVE