More than six hundred attendees joined the 37th annual INDABA travel trade show in Durban, South Africa, May 7-10, 2018. The African flair shone through singing, dancing and of course a multitude of pallet-pleasing local flavours in this year’s “Africa’s Stories, Your Success” theme.
INDABA is an international travel trade show conference and the largest of its kind in Africa. This year proved to be, yet again, a grand success. With delegates from over 80 countries, overall registrations reached the 7,000 mark, up four per cent from last year. Two spaces large enough to hold over 1,100 exhibitors, including 23 South African provinces, were spread out seamlessly, making navigating through the maze of displays a breeze. One hundred North American media delegates and travel agents travelled for the event and continued on a Nelson Mandela-inspired tour of the country, celebrating the Mandela centennial.
“Indaba’s goal is to create a platform that allows the world to do business with Africa and business is happening. We are therefore encouraged by the number of buyers and exhibitors who have come from various parts of the world. They are our valued partners, who assist us to package and sell Africa to the world,” said South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona.
The event was located at the International Conference Centre (ICC), a space perfectly suited for the event. Exhibitors, buyers and media did not go hungry; they had their choice of caffeine fix at multiple coffee shops, filled up on hot food service featuring local dishes and received vouchers for the artisanal sustainability craft fair. The fair had vendors selling hand-made art, jewelry, posters, body products and clothing.
South African Tourism, Amazing Africa tour operator and Dawn Travel travel agency were a few of the exhibitors playing show-and-tell, providing travel agents, media and buyers an array of networking opportunities.
The second conference space held the African province representatives and tour operators, shining a light on true South African culture, highlighting game reserves, wildlife tours, resorts and endless activities across the continent.
South African Tourism hosted the welcome event, open to all who attended INDABA, also held at the ICC. It had spotlight features of local dancers, singers and artists conveying South African culture as well as Mandela’s journey from prisoner to president. Open bars offered beer, wine and coffee as the crowd engaged in photo ops and networking opportunities. South African-style food steamed the space with tempting scents of lamb, curry and spring rolls filling the air. The music, chatter, dance and African energy was the perfect way to prepare hundreds of visitors for a true South African experience.