Africa's Travel Indaba 2018 seeks double digit growth for tourism

Through platforms such as Africa’s Travel Indaba,  the world is looking at Africa as a vibrant continent that is driven to succeed

Through platforms such as Africa’s Travel Indaba, the world is looking at Africa as a vibrant continent that is driven to succeed

Tourism ranked high on the agenda in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address by last month, with the president saying there was “no reason it can’t double in size”.  This view is certainly echoed by the travel and tourism trade, which is eager to see new initiatives put in place to enhance support for destination marketing and to reduce regulatory barriers to enhance business success.

For this reason, Africa’s Travel Indaba, Africa biggest and longest-running travel and tourism trade show, will be a highlight for tourism stakeholders across the continent and the world.  The show, which will be held as in previous years at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, will run from May 8-10.

The exhibition showcases more than 1 000 travel and tourism products and services from various African countries and has undergone a complete brand transformation, revealed on the last day of the show in 2017. The new look for Africa’s Travel Indaba is not just about updating the brand to be more modern; it was also designed to update the entire platform and maximise business success over a few short days. 

In 2018 Africa’s Travel Indaba, which is organised and brought to the continent by South African Tourism, will be providing more engaging talks, panel discussions and will also include a pre-show conference and workshopping day for the tourism industry known as BONDay, a day for bonding and networking. 

“Indaba was originally a typical exhibition show, with a few presentations and events scheduled in between, but we have now developed a more robust African conference, workshop and event schedule to provide the latest insights and intelligence to support businesses not only sell, but also to inspire them innovate and take advantage of global trends and opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said South African Tourism’s chief executive, Sisa Ntshona.

According to Ntshona, participants have many enhancements to look forward to at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2018, including an impressive line-up of new speakers, 45 new first-time small businesses from around South Africa and a tribute installation to celebrate the 100-year celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birth. There is also a strong drive to entice more African destinations to exhibit at the continent’s number one show.

Africa’s Travel Indaba comes hot on the heels of the just wrapped Meetings Africa show for the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events industry.  The show is also organised by South African Tourism and just concluded its 13th year of exhibiting at the Sandton Convention Centre in February. 

“Each year we learn more and push ourselves a bit further when we organise and manage these continental trade platforms, and this year we are going all out to find ways to support the industry to achieve double digit growth,” said Ntshona. The theme for 2018 is “Africa’s stories. Your success”.

“When we start telling and sharing our own stories, we embark on the journey of changing the narrative of Africa, says Ntshona. “Through platforms like Africa’s Travel Indaba we have the ability to shift perceptions from a continent that needs saving to a continent that is thriving. Africa no longer looks to the world for affirmation or inspiration in tourism — the world looks to us as a real, vibrant continent that is driven to succeed and these are the stories we want to amplify in 2018.”