The South African Tourism annual tourism showcase, Africa’s Travel Indaba, saw a promising conglomeration of some 1828 buyers from 88 countries and over more than 1000 exhibitors at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa, from May 2-4, 2019.
The event serves as one of the largest platforms for Africa’s tourism industry to showcase the extensiveness of its products to an international market. Derek Hanekom, Minister, Tourism, Government of South Africa, said, “Africa’s Travel Indaba has become synonymous with storytelling. This continent is teeming with stories and folklore which are woven into all the products and experiences that are showcased here. In 2018, Africa reached 67 million international tourist arrivals, a growth of 7 per cent over 2017. This represents 5 per cent of all global international arrivals, up nearly 14 mn from the low of 2015. On the African continent, we have grown at an average of 8 per cent for three years in a row.” The Minister also shared that UNWTO predicts that 1.8 billion people will be travelling globally by 2030, and that Africa will increase its share from the current 5 to 7 per cent of all global arrivals.
While buyers at Indaba include tour operators, online booking companies and DMCs from across the world, the exhibitor profile includes provincial authorities, tour operators, game lodges, luxury products, etc., from as many as 20 African nations. The India market continues to be a significant contributor to Africa’s, particularly South Africa’s, international tourist arrival numbers, and Indaba is seen as one of the most significant events to help strengthen this relationship even further.
Addressing delegates at Indaba 2019, the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, highlighted the 10 challenges that needed to be looked over in order to boost arrivals to the country. Speaking at the third day of Africa’s largest tourism event, he said, “We must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our country face. This requires us to streamline our tourist visa regimes. We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world-class e-visa system.”
In light of the same, Hanekom, has informed that India will be among the top three countries that the e-Visa regime will be extended to, besides China and Nigeria.