The 2018 Africa’s Travel Indaba might have come and gone, but its memories and impact will linger for a very long time. The host city, Durban, and its 3.8 million people welcomed more than 7,000 delegates to the top travel trade show. The hosts, South African Tourism, along with The City of eThekwini and Tourism KZN, worked hard behind the scenes to drive even more inclusive economic growth opportunities from the show, including supporting 135 SMMEs (up from 90 in 2017) to exhibit and promote their offerings as “Hidden Gems” on the global stage.
According to Sihle Zikalala, MEC for Economic Development, KwaZulu-Natal is excited to have been priviledged to host Africa’s Travel Indaba for the 27th consecutive year. Indaba is a unique tourism showpiece which has brought major spin-offs for the tourism industry and associated businesses, big and small, in KwaZulu-Natal. This year’s three-day show was projected to inject to KwaZulu-Natal’s GDP a whopping R89-million.
The theme for this year’s show was about telling African success stories, and a big part of this included the celebration of the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth with the tourism delegates from all over the continent and the world. The newly improved Mandela Journey App (available from App stores) was launched and has been especially updated in celebration of the centenary year.
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. Madiba, a global icon who was adored all around the world as intensely as he was at home, spent much time travelling to, and living in various parts of our beautiful country, creating memories and inspiring hope for those around him.
As a result, the chosen 100 experiences, attractions and destinations depict the story of his journey, which has become familiar to the global community. This 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 distances of nearby attractions.
Finally, it is worthy of note that this year was indeed a big one for Africa’s Travel Indaba, thanks to its 476 main exhibitors, with 644 sharing spaces; 23 luxury products and 135 “Hidden Gems”. Exhibitors from African countries (excluding South Africa) totalled 809 while 21 African countries were represented. In all, there were 1,747 hosted and non-hosted buyers of which 661 were from outside the African continent. First time exhibitors numbered 228 and 16 African Tourism Boards were represented.