Indaba 2008, one of South Africa’s largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, will be taking place in Kwa-Zulu Natal from the 10th until the 13th of May 2008. This year, the event is expected to be bigger and better than previous years.
With only a few days to go, South African Tourism’s annual premier travel show has already attracted about 14 percent more visitors to the show as compared to last year.
“The overall number of registered visitors is 3777 compared to last year’s 2 922. Both local and international media registrations have collectively gone up by 17 percent from 316 to 385,” said Sindile Xulu, Country Manager, and Domestic at South African Tourism.
While registration to the show is still open, Xulu announced that they already have an indication of the level of interest in the show with an increase of participants. She said these numbers emphasizes confidence by the world’s travelers and travel trade in South Africa as a world-class value-for-money destination.
“This is officially the biggest Indaba ever. What is especially encouraging is the notable increase of new international delegates to the show, which has grown by 19 percent from 1713 in 2007 to 2108,” she said. Additionally, she said registrations received indicated that international buyers have increased by 38 percent, while local tourism trade is sitting at 392, a 26 percent increase from the 287 in 2007.
According to Nothando Mathe, Country Manager SADC, this year’s SA Tourism Indaba, perhaps more than any other, is especially crucial for the industry and destination.
“This is because it’s the Indaba at which many of the buying decisions for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be made,” she explained. “As Southern Africans, this is the time to zoom in Southern Africa and collectively to market our region very strongly.”
Explaining further, Mathe stated that the global travel and tourism trade has an approximate 18-month buying cycle. The buyers will be at Indaba not only to do business, but also to invest in the best and most accessible of South African destination products. She said they will also use this time to find places to stay and things to do for the hundreds of thousands of football fans who will flock to South Africa in 2010 to be a part of the first FIFA World Cup on this continent.
“Indaba gives traders opportunities to market their products as well as to participate in workshops and other activities on offer,” she stated.
INDABA 2007, held last year on the 13th to the 15th of May, has been deemed a success in every sense of the word. Attendance has not only been impressive, it exceeded all expectations with a record-breaking 12,523 participants having visited INDABA in 2007. “This is indeed a must attend event,” Mathe concluded.