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16 May 2012

INDABA 2012 a resounding success

The annual travel INDABA held in Durban provided the platform to shape the future of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Aerial view, Durban's ICC The Durban ICC

Together, we must keep our eyes on ever-changing consumer preferences, diversify our products, maintain excellent service, innovate our distribution channels, and ensure that we continue to deliver value for money. We must ensure that all our people share in the benefits of our new growth. - Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk

The travel industry converged on Durban last week for the annual travel INDABA. This year’s event proved to be a major success. It provided solid ground for networking, collaboration and profitable partnerships that can only benefit the consumer in the long run.

Known as Africa’s top travel show, INDABA 2012 was all about innovation, communication and quality connections. By the end of business on Tuesday, 15 May, more than 10 700 people had passed through the doors.

The theme of the 4-day event was ‘Shaping our Future Together’. More than
1 500 exhibitors from South Africa and southern Africa agreed that partnerships and collaboration are the order of the day to ensure future growth in the tourism sector.

South Africa’s unique combination of cultures and lifestyles emerged as a major focus point for selling the destination. One only had to look around at the funky stands and colourful traditional gear to see this in action. Responsible tourism was also a major theme, as ‘going green’ is a key focus of the local tourism industry.

This year’s INDABA was also about social media, with #Indaba2012 trending on Twitter for 3 days. This year South African Tourism introduced its INDABA app for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android devices – keeping visitors up to date and minimising the need for printed material.

Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, attended the event and strongly emphasised the importance of partnerships among everyone in the industry. 'Together, we must keep our eyes on ever-changing consumer preferences, diversify our products, maintain excellent service, innovate our distribution channels, and ensure that we continue to deliver value for money. We must ensure that all our people share in the benefits of our new growth,' he said.

INDABA 2012 took place at the Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC) from 12 to 15 May.