Africa Travel Indaba serves to cement KZN as tourist destination

KwaZulu-Natal and the city of Durban is expected to leverage millions of rands as the Africa Travel Indaba officially commenced in the iconic Durban’s International Convention Centre with more than 6 000 delegates expected to converge in one venue.

The event, which gets under way on Tuesday, is ranked as one of the biggest “must visit” gathering in the global tourism and leisure calendar.

It sees international guests, captains of industry, exhibitors and tourism operators engage on several issues affecting the tourism sector and how can different countries learn from each other to improve their economies and create jobs at a wider scale.

This year’s instalment is held under the theme Shaping Africa’s Tomorrow Through Connecting Today and convenes for the next three days.

Siboniso Duma, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs said on Monday that the indaba is key in cementing the province as a preferred tourism destination internationally.

“This is a massive opportunity for emerging tourism businesses. It also serve to put KwaZulu-Natal on the map,” said Duma.

“Besides providing temporary jobs to young people who are recruited as ambassadors, we are also counting economic spin-offs for the province. Accommodation facilities and local entrepreneurs will also gain substantially.”

The initiative, which is the brainchild of SA Tourism, has already bagged an award for being the best travel and tourism show on the African continent.

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille said the event forms an integral part of the tourism recovery plan which was severely batted when the Covid-19 pandemic hit South Africa two years ago.

“The tourism sector has experienced several challenges because of the Covid-19. The indaba provides an opportunity to put this setback behind and grow the tourism sector together, as we embark on our tourism recovery plan,” De Lille said.

The three-day trade show began with a business opportunity networking session known as Bonday, bringing together different stakeholders to deliberate on pressing matters on the tourism space.


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