The annual Indaba tourism conference took place last month from May 7-9 at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, touting the theme: Putting you at the forefront of business success. Attending the conference were more than 1,000 exhibitors, 500 media and over 1,500 buyers from around the world.  

Over 180 countries were represented, showcasing an overwhelming amount of tourism products. From Egypt and Ethiopia to Tanzania and Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean, East Africa countries, as well as Malawi and Zambia and Zimbabwe nearly the entire continent down to South Africa.

“INDABA gives us a sense of belonging. It is where we can come together to share knowledge and create partnerships,” said South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. “The world’s tourists want what we have, authentic meaningful experiences and a taste of local communities. This gives more indigenous people the opportunity to become part of our tourism industry. At the same time, the packaging of our diverse tourism products, which reflect Africa’s travel experiences such as rich cultural and historical heritage as well as the continent’s exceptional natural wealth, should be tailor-made to suit tourists who are keen to move from our country to the others within the region.”

Delegates at Indaba were able to participate in several speed marketing events, with the first event being World Heritage Sites and Culture, with Safaris and Adventure Travel included for the following days.

Another first at this year’s Indaba was the Hidden Gems Zone. Built to showcase products and services from South African Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).

The 70 SMMEs exhibiting were selected for authentic and unique representation of South Africa as a destination. 

During the three day event, these businesses took part in workshops to enhance their ability to access the market and will have the opportunity to network with buyers from around the world as well as being able to share their roadmaps to success with global media.


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