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TThe Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, Mr Thulani Nzima, says the organisation’s objective of growing the tourism INDABA to a Pan-African show is gradually being realised. Including South Africa, 24 destinations across Africa will be represented on the trade-show floor at INDABA 2015.
'South African Tourism welcomes all delegates to INDABA. It is great to have each of them on board as part of the rich and wonderful celebration of a thriving tourism sector. Our intention to make the tourism INDABA a trade show that is fully representative and accessible to the continent is coming to fruition. I am grateful to the greater African tourism industry for their tremendous support for this show,' Nzima says.
'The tourism INDABA is poised, now more than ever, to give buyers from around the world access to the widest diversity of African leisure travel products and experiences. Through our various media events, journalists attending INDABA will also have access to the people and the stories that are shaping the Pan-African travel sector. INDABA is the very engine room of tourism growth in Africa and in South Africa.'
Mr Ndabo Khoza, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Chief Executive Officer, says they are looking forward to a successful tourism INDABA, where the province will continue to forge stronger relations with their partners both locally and internationally.
'As the province of KwaZulu-Natal, we are delighted to host the tourism fraternity at our exceptional destination. We are confident that they will once again find the tourism INDABA to be an outstanding business platform to forge relationships that will bear huge dividends for their businesses. We trust that in-between their business deals they will take time and explore the province and discover some of the hidden gems that the destination has to offer.
'Once again, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal will be hosting its annual tourism INDABA breakfast, where the organisation will be updating the international media and trade on some of its key developments in the province,' Khoza says.
Mr Philip Sithole, Head of Durban Tourism, says the tourism INDABA 2015 will contribute an estimated R144-million to the city whilst supporting about 500 jobs.
'We look forward to welcoming no less than 9 000 influential tourism leaders, decision-makers and global media to Durban. INDABA is Durban’s opportunity to show the world exceptional tourism infrastructure and capability,' says Sithole.
'In just two years the city has won many international accolades. Our focus now is to restore stability in the hospitality industry, regain our visitor confidence and continue with our exciting marketing plans of taking Durban to the World,' he adds.
Sithole invites all delegates to make use of the opportunity the city affords them this year by visiting the Kwa Muhle Gallery housing an INDABA exhibition, Through the Eyes of National Geographic, showing the city as it is today, and as it was generations ago. Pictures of Durban today were taken by acclaimed National Geographic photographer Krista Rossow.
Ms Lindiwe Rakharebe, Chief Executive Officer of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, says, 'The ICC looks forward to INDABA 2015, and to delivering an unforgettable experience to the host of international and domestic tourism buyers, journalists, visitors and exhibitors from around the world.'
Tourism INDABA 2015 has been planned with delegate feedback from previous installations of the tourism INDABA in mind for an even better trade show. A new feature this year is the Calabash (a typically African social environment for informal meetings and networking).
The return of the Business Buyer Lounge is a direct response to interest from exhibitors and South African Tourism’s determination to put exhibitors first at INDABA through offering optimised business opportunities.
The Business Buyer Lounge at INDABA 2015 will give exhibitors an exclusive area, perfectly equipped to accommodate deal-making meetings with buyers. There are two categories of Business Buyer Lounge: exhibitors and non-exhibitors. Non-exhibitors have the option of conducting all their INDABA appointments from their bespoke Business Buyer Lounge hub.
Two days of robust and engaging speed-marketing sessions are on offer at this year’s INDABA trade show. The highly regarded INDABA speed-marketing sessions connect local trade and international hosted buyers in a fast-paced, controlled, yet impactful environment. The speed-marketing sessions give buyers easy access to South African SMMEs that are already established in the South African domestic market. The speed-marketing sessions have been moved from the 'usual' 12h30 time slot to 08h30 to give buyers the opportunity to schedule additional meetings with exhibitors.
Instead of the regular annual Global Media Face-Off, this year there will be four distinct media briefings that will examine tourism’s contribution to the South African economy; the importance of small tourism businesses; the growing importance of inter-continental partnerships and collaboration for the growth of the total African tourism sector; and an INDABA bid party media briefing that will take a look at INDABA 2015’s successes and highlights.
INDABA 2015 takes place at the Inkosi Albert International Convention Centre in Durban from May 9 to 11 2015. For more information, follow #INDABA2015 on Twitter and visit www.indaba-southafrica.co.za.