OVER 9000 delegates from over 200 countries are expected to descend on the Durban International Convention Centre for the 26th annual Tourism Indaba which takes place from
10th-12th May. Renowned as “Africa’s Top Travel Show”, Indaba showcases tourism products from across the African continent and has built its reputation as one of the top three travel events in the world.
South African Tourism have made some key changes to the event’s usual format to ensure it remains relevant, highly competitive and meets the needs of its exhibitors, buyers and delegates alike. Innovations at Indaba 2014 include a Premium Lounge offering a number of professionally managed office areas, equipped with modern furnishings and uncapped high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, where serious exhibitors can conduct business with the international buyers.
This year, the show will also offer a technology pavilion (TechZone) which showcases the latest developments and technology offerings available in the global tourism industry. In addition to these changes, new delegate matchmaking software is being introduced to help buyers and exhibitors maximise their networking opportunities and meet the most appropriate business contacts over the three-day event.
This is the first year that a ministerial level policy dialogue will be held with other African countries. The Inaugural Ministerial session will be hosted by Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, and will provide a platform for fellow African Tourism Ministers to discuss the current state of Tourism on the continent. The session will include a keynote address delivered by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, followed by a panel discussion on key tourism issues.
Preparations for the event are well underway to ensure a world-class experience for the host of international and domestic tourism buyers, exhibitors and media from around the world. Julie-May Ellingson, chief executive officer of Durban ICC, noted: “The Durban ICC team is proud to once again be hosting Africa’s top travel show. Having been home to Indaba since 1992, we are ready to welcome old and new friends from South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. Indaba is one of the highlights of our year and our team is excited to have the major role players in Africa’s tourism industry under our roof once again. Apart from showcasing the continent’s tourism offering to the rest of the world, the event is also an important platform to discuss the growth and development of our tourism industry in the years ahead.”
With four designated catering outlets across the Durban ICC and Durban Exhibition Centre, the complex’s culinary team is geared up to ensure that all visitors and exhibitors are kept refreshed and revitalised during the event. Apart from the catering outlets, the culinary team will also provide pre-ordered catering for over 100 exhibitor stands and 31 side events with numbers varying from 50 to 300 delegates per event.
Designated Durban ICC staff teams have been allocated responsibility for various zones within the complex to ensure that the event runs without any hitches and IT and operational staff are preparing to work extended hours to ensure a seamless Indaba experience.
“A lot of effort has gone into transforming the event into a contemporary, pan-African trade show and we look forward to seeing the positive results these innovations will hold for South Africa’s tourism industry and for Africa as a whole”, Ms Ellingson concluded.