KwaZulu-Natal is back in the travel and hospitality game in a major way and there is no stopping the province aiming to become the star in Africa’s tourism crown.
This much was all too clear after the impressive showing by Tourism KZN and its partners at the 2022 Africa’s Travel Indaba, which has set the benchmark for a bigger and better travel expo next year.
The Africa’s Travel Indaba is a platform for all tourism players and exhibitors to show their best tourism products and offerings to the world.
Speaking at a wrap-up media briefing, Phindile Makwakwa, acting chief executive officer of Tourism KZN said there had been incredible teamwork between the sister organisations: Tourism KZN, Durban Tourism, South African Tourism and the Durban ICC.
“This year, KZN came back on the international calendar and demonstrated to the world that the province was ready to host the Africa’s Travel Indaba despite the challenges faced in the past two years. Africa’s Travel Indaba is a platform for small enterprises and exhibitors who are hungry to showcase their tourism offerings to the world,” she said, adding that Tourism KZN looks forward to hosting more international delegates at next year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba.
Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief conventions bureau officer, South African Tourism, said she is grateful to have had a team that worked extremely hard to make the Africa’s Travel Indaba a success.
“The Africa’s Travel Indaba was a chance to reconnect with many people from all over the world. There were 18 African countries, 655 exhibitors, 965 buyers and 377 media hosted at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba. Also, there were 14, 000 meetings that took place during the Africa’s Travel Indaba. This year, the Africa’s Travel Indaba exceeded the organisation’s expectations. Tourists can see that the province can do big conferences in a time of challenges,” she explained.
She added that South Africa will go back to the tourists’ arrivals levels of 2019 and the country will come back bigger and better for next year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba.
Winile Mtungwa, deputy head of Durban Tourism, said it was good to have people from different parts of the world attending the Africa’s Travel Indaba.
“There had to be swift turnaround times on getting the surrounding areas in Durban ready for the Africa’s Travel Indaba and to welcome tourism and trade delegates to a clean city, especially following the recent floods in KZN. The city has been buzzing with thousands of delegates. Thank you to the people and the organisations for making this prestigious event such a success,” she said.
Ntungwa added that the projections for the 2022 Africa’s Travel Indaba were 3, 700 visitors, a direct spend of R29 million, R72, 5 million contribution to the city’s GDP and 145 jobs were created.
Lindiwe Rakharebe, chief executive officer of Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC), commented that it has been a great honour to host this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba.
“The people of KZN are showing that they can rise and be resilient, despite the many challenges faced. Collaborations with organisations made things possible to get ready for Africa’s Travel Indaba,” she said.
Acting chief executive office of South African Tourism, Themba Khumalo, said, “I applaud the formidable women from various organisations, who worked diligently to make Africa’s Travel Indaba an overwhelming success.”