The city’s state of readiness to host Africa’s Travel Indaba at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) and Durban Exhibition Centre from 2 to 4 May was announced on Tuesday, 29 April.

The report noted that Africa’s Travel Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African continent which Durban, in collaboration with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the Durban ICC, put together a successful bid to host the event from 2018 to 2022.

Durban is ready to welcome the anticipated 7 000 visitors who will be attending the event including delegations from some of Durban’s key source markets, including the United States of America, China, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Zambia and many others. Furthermore, projections indicate that activities related to the Indaba will generate a direct spend of R40 million and make a gross domestic product contribution of more than R80 million.

Key activities for the Indaba were also outlined in the report. They included a Hosted Buyers and Hosted Media Welcoming Function on Wednesday, 1 May which will provide a networking session. Africa’s Travel Indaba Bell Ringing Ceremony was held on 2 May and was officiated by the National Minister of Tourism, Derick Hanekom along with MEC of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala. The official opening of the Durban exhibition stands was on the same day as the Africa Travel Indaba official opening ceremony.

The launch of the Durban beaches web portal will be on 3 May as part of showcasing and unveiling the coastal regions of the of the city’s iconic attractions. Also on the line-up are three speed marketing sessions, a mentorship programme focusing on tour operators and activities in line with 25 years if democracy and African success stories.

This includes monumental temporary sculptures of former President Nelson Mandela and Inkosi Chief Albert Luthuli being curated and displayed outside the Durban ICC with one sculpture of Mandela being displayed at Gordon Park in Florida Road to promote the node as it is one of the busiest tourism centres within the city.

The event will showcase the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from around the world. While concerns were raised at the meeting about the state of the city’s beaches following the recent floods, chairperson of the Economic Development and Planning Committee, Councillor Sipho Kaunda said work was being done to ensure the beaches would be
clean with progress being made in that regard.