13 May 2012

South Africa gearing up to capitalise as global air travellers near 1-bn mark

South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk was upbeat as he opened Africa’s top travel show, INDABA 2012, taking place in Durban until 15 May 2012.

Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk,speaking at the INDABA 2012 opening ceremony.

The focus has shifted to achieving the tough targets contained in the National Tourism Sector Strategy, which has been adopted by all the public and private sector stakeholders in South Africa’s tourism industry - Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism

South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, officially opened Africa’s top travel show, INDABA 2012, in Durban last night, with a strong message to the country’s travel and tourism trade.

His key message was that only through strong partnerships and a collective approach will South Africa’s tourism industry continue to grow. Van Schalkwyk's message fits nicely into this year's INDABA theme - 'Shaping our Future Together’. 

Van Schalkwyk said the number of global air travellers was set to break the 1-billion mark for the 1st time this year. ' South Africa’s tourism industry has grown considerably since I first opened INDABA in 2004 and is well placed to capitalise on this travel boom,' he commented.

More than 1 500 exhibitors from every conceivable facet of South Africa’s tourism industry are conducting business at INDABA 2012.

This includes accommodation providers, airlines, tour operators, car rental companies, tourist attractions and a host of other tourism businesses and entitles.

Around 200 hosted buyers, influential in generating hundreds of millions of rands of business for the country’s tourism industry, are attending the event. More than 200 media from around the world are among the 780 media representatives that are also in Durban to cover the event.

INDABA 2012 takes place soon after Van Schalkwyk recent announced South Africa 2011 tourist arrivals statistics. South Africa attracted a record 8.3-million tourists in 2011 and recorded 26.3-million domestic trips.

He told a packed audience at the INDABA 2012 opening ceremony that the tourism sector now enjoyed the attention of a dedicated fully-fledged cabinet portfolio and a national budget that had grown steadily over the years.

‘Now however, the focus had shifted to achieving the tough targets contained in the National Tourism Sector Strategy, which has been adopted by all the public and private sector stakeholders in South Africa’s tourism industry,’ he concluded.