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AAn African showcase to the world
Opening the 2018 Africa’s Travel Indaba national minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, called it the “greatest Indaba of all time” because of the 1 747 buyers from all over the world, 1 120 exhibitors showcasing a range and diversity of products from the continent, and no less than 22 African countries and 80 countries globally represented at this year’s travel trade show.
Africa’s Travel Indaba runs for the next three days, from 8 to 10 May at the Durban ICC in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). It is the largest travel trade show in Africa and one of the top three on the global calendar.
It showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa's tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world. Africa’s Travel Indaba is organised by South African Tourism
The Minister told the audience gathered in the South Foyer of the ICC for the opening and traditional ringing of the bell that signals the opening of the trade floor, that the African continent is one of warmth and diversity. “We are one as humanity and we will express it on the continent.”
Despite only five percent of global travel being to Africa, he called it an opportunity. “This is the chance for us to grow. Buyers - you are in a place of growth and opportunity.”
He says that every deal clinched lasts longer than the three days of the travel expo as it creates jobs. “People visiting the continent help us to address poverty and unemployment.”
Adding to this, he told the more than 600 media, national and international, to “Showcase us, highlight Africa’s Travel Indaba to the more than 80 countries here. Tell our stories to the whole world.”
Sporting a Madiba shirt, the Minister also referred to the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations taking place this year, some of which are taking place at this year’s travel trade show. “Africa’s Travel Indaba is happening at an important time as it would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday this year.”
The Mandela Centenary Celebrations are set to take centre stage at this year's Africa Travel Indaba. As part of the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations, South African Tourism has identified 100 experiences, attractions and destinations around South Africa that have strong historical and social ties to his life and which have become familiar to the global community.
The showcase of South Africa and Nelson Mandela's memory can be found on the Madiba's Journey App, which allows users to view the attractions on a map, build their itineraries and share their own journeys on social media. Visitors can also experience the emotion and relevance of each location through audio, text and image galleries. The app also offers real-time weather information, distances and details of nearby attractions.