Africa’s Top Travel trade show, INDABA, took place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 7-9 May 2016 and was attended by a total of 7,292 delegates. Seventeen (17) countries from across the African continent exhibited with 96% of the space available utilised efficiently.
By the end of this three-day show, 3,000 more meetings were held as compared to last year. With the number of hosted buyers and exhibitors also up, close to 6,000 meetings took place on the opening day of the Indaba, while the second day saw over 5,000 meetings held. In total quality 14,000 quality meetings were held over the three days of the show.
“Indaba is a world class event that is about offering exhibitors an opportunity to do business. This significant increase in meetings shows that our strategic aim of putting the exhibitors at the forefront of business success paid off. We are pleased with the quality of meetings held as this is an indication of the potential that tourism has to contribute to the economy through the connections made at Indaba” says Acting Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism, Ms Sthembiso Dlamini.
For the first time this year, there was a dedicated Hidden Gems Zone that showcased 70 Small Medium Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) services. The hosting of the 70 SMMEs is significant as it serves not only to empower the small business by giving them market access, but also to enhance and broaden South Africa’s tourism offering through showcasing the lesser-known products and services to buyers across the globe.
Dlamini adds that “A big part of our mandate is to make sure that we are a leader in the tourism industry by creating and facilitating profitable opportunities for the South African tourism industry. It is therefore gratifying to see that some of the SMMEs that we brought to Indaba signed deals at the event. The importance of this global platform for SMMEs cannot be emphasized enough as it also adds to strengthening our domestic tourism witch is the backbone of the sector.”
Speed marketing sessions also gave exhibitors an opportunity to take centre stage to sell, their products and services to international buyers throughout the three days of Indaba.
This year’s show also boasted The Tech Talks, which gave exhibitors and delegates an understanding of the latest trends on technology, as well as share with them a wealth of information on how technology influences consumer behaviors and how the tourism industry is adapting to this ever-evolving climate.
The show has come a long way since the very first Indaba, and each year the show is evolving, taking tourism in South Africa to new heights. Today Indaba has become one of the top three ‘must visit’ travel trade shows on the global calendar as well as a gathering of Africa’s tourism leaders, policy makers, global buyers and travel media.
WRT received an exhibition desk on the GTA stand and 3 SMMEs from West Rand formed part of the SMME stand, namely Tshuku Transport Service, Tso’s Butchery & Fast Food and Munsieville Tourism Association.