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AAs the 40-day countdown to INDABA 2017 begins, South African Tourism is putting the final touches on an event that will foster closer collaboration and more targeted business interactions than ever before. This is sure to result in a productive trade show for buyers, exhibitors and media alike, while showcasing a vast and eclectic selection of tourism products from all over Africa.
INDABA, Africa’s leading travel show, returns to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 16 to 18 May 2017, sporting a more streamlined programme and improved floor layout to make it easier for the world to come and sample the tourism treasures Africa has to offer.
Through the convenient online diary and matchmaking system, delegates can use technology to set up pre-scheduled meetings with buyers or exhibitors that may match their needs, saving time and enabling them to get the best out of the show.
For the first time, this digital platform has also been extended to media, meaning journalists can now schedule one-on-one meetings with exhibitors of interest to secure the stories they want to tell about Africa’s tourism industry.
This year’s heightened focus on matching like-minded tourism industry players is aimed at driving successful business deals while helping to showcase the kaleidoscope of product options on offer.
For instance, the Hidden Gems zone – located at the SMME pavilion in Hall 5, directly opposite the Luxury pavilion – will introduce the world’s travel buyers and visitors to small tourism enterprises from each of South Africa’s nine provinces that may otherwise have remained undiscovered, in the hope of encouraging a broader range of authentic tourism experiences to be included in tours to South Africa.
Delegates at the trade show will be exposed to the full breadth of Africa’s tourism offerings, including high-end products at the Tourism Grading Council’s new luxury pavilion, located in Hall 5 at the ICC. This feature will cater to global buyers who are on the lookout for the premier five-star offerings many destinations on the continent are famed for.
Apart from the pre-scheduled meetings, buyers will have the chance to meet with exhibitors during the morning speed marketing sessions on each of the three show days. Here, participating exhibitors will be grouped according to themes such as lap of luxury, scenic outdoors and award winners before making short presentations on their offerings. These sessions are an excellent way for buyers to ask questions and learn more about exhibitors – many of whom are small businesses. Buyers are invited to attend the speed marketing sessions every morning from 08h30 to 10h00 in Meeting Room 22 at the ICC.
Media organisations will discover an abundance of challenging and thought-provoking content in the series of Conversations at INDABA 2017. Leaders and influencers from the local and global industry will take part in riveting panel discussions around topical issues and their impact on African tourism.
The topics will include how to foster private-public partnerships for inclusive tourism growth, the growing phenomenon of digital and online booking in the African tourism sector, and the contribution that African arts, fashion and design make to tourism on the continent.
The Conversations at INDABA will take place in the media centre at 10h30 to 11h30 and 12h00 to 13h00 on 16 and 17 May. The final day will feature the traditional Bid Party INDABA update and wrap-up session, at 10h30 in the media centre.
Because this is a continental showpiece, INDABA’s focus on African destinations gives visitors a chance to become acquainted with exciting product developments throughout the continent. Industry players from more than 17 African countries are taking part, including Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Réunion, Seychelles, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Anyone with an interest in African travel is invited to register to attend this landmark African travel show at the Durban ICC, and be part of celebrating and promoting an industry that is growing, that is thriving and that is of worthy of the global acclaim it is receiving.
To register as an exhibitor, buyer or media delegate, or to simply learn more about Africa’s longest-running and internationally recognised leisure travel trade show, please visit http://www.INDABA-southafrica.co.za