Durban - It’s official. President Jacob Zuma will open Indaba 2017 - Africa’s leading travel show - at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Tuesday 16 May 2017.
Indaba 2017, running from Tuesday 16 May to Thursday 18 May, is expected to bring together more than 7 000 delegates that represent the top tourism products in Africa including the world’s leading travel buyers and travel and tourism media.
The biggest annual travel and tourism trade show which is said to be “the soul of the industry coming together to celebrate all that makes Africa a welcoming, accessible and beautiful destination”, is focused on growing domestic tourism.
SEE: INDABA: What to expect in 2017 and beyond
Indaba 2017 will also see the boosting of SA's upcoming Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), which are key drivers of economic growth – especially in in developing countries - by cultivating entrepreneurship and providing employment.
“In South Africa, tourism is more than just a key sector in the creation of jobs. It is also a catalyst in alleviating poverty and eliminating inequality,” says SA Tourism, adding that “SMME’s will especially benefit township tourism”.
Earlier this year Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, called for SMME’s in townships to take part and help SA tourism grow in areas like Khayelitsha, saying “for us to realise radical economic transformation we must have inclusive economic growth – meaning participation from everyone is key.”
ALSO SEE: A Holiday in Soweto?
Xasa will also host the 4th Indaba Ministerial Session on Monday 15 May at Durban ICC (South Foyer), and the Women in Tourism Networking Dinner on Wednesday 17 May at The Hilton Hotel (The Ballroom).
According to Neil Nagooroo, chairperson of the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA), this year's Indaba will focus on promoting and offering SMME’s a platform to interact with international authorities.
Nagooroo tells Traveller24 that a total of 90 SMMEs have been selected to represent SA at Indaba, following a rigorous selection process in which the 10 best enterprises from each of SA's nine provinces were selected, trained and prepared for Indaba with the assistance of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA).
SEE: What will Indaba 2017 hold?
SA Tourism CEO, Siso Ntshona, agrees that this new Hidden Gems programme, as it is called, will be a major enabler for "emerging and existing enterprises that are at least 50% black-owned".
What’s new at Indaba 2017?
This year, the Indaba organisers launched an event app, in line with international best practice, which all attendees will be able to use during the event. The app will include maps, programmes as well as social media links.
Monday 15 May is dedicated exclusively to exhibitors. The Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) will takes place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban, ahead of Indaba’s public show days from 16 May to 18 May.
Indaba 2017 sports a more streamlined programme and improved floor layout. Here’s to uncovering more of the tourism treasures Africa has to offer!
*Disclaimer: Traveller24 content producer Kavitha Pillay was hosted as media by South African Tourism for #Indaba2017, including flights and accommodation.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Weekend Wrap: SA's first winter weekend, ocean mysteries and Kruger lone lion returns home
- Epic South African winter retreats to soak in the season
- 14 Winter festivals happening around SA