SA to invite more African countries to participate in INDABA

Sthembiso Dlamini, the Acting CEO of South Africa Tourism, has assured African countries that her country’s Minister for Tourism Mr. Derek Hanekom would work with their various ministers of tourism to ensure their participation in NDABA and promotion of tourism generally.  

The minister held a ministerial forum with countries that participated in the 2016 edition of INDABA and they were working on an inter-ministerial cooperation to ensure that more African countries would show interest and participate in the trade show. 

The Acting CEO said this when she answered a question on why countries from West Africa especially and other parts of Africa did not show much interest in INDABA as those from the Southern and Eastern African regions. 

“The minister of tourism is at the forefront of initiating the involvement of other African countries in INDABA. We engage the various tourism authorities and our minister engages the ministers at his level and we believe that would ensure that our fellow countries participate in INDABA,” Ms. Dlamini said. She also added that the entire continent needed to take promotion of tourism seriously for all to succeed. 

INDABA brings together several practitioners from across the tourism value chain as exhibitors, buyers as well as the media to create opportunities for businesses in the tourism sector.

The 2016 edition of INDABA had as its theme “Putting you at the forefront of business success” and it brought together over 1,000 Exhibitors to showcase their businesses, have meetings, participate in speed marketing and engage buyers from 7th May to 9th May 2016.

Dlamini said one of her biggest joys at INDABA 2016 was the fact that the spotlight was placed on small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). She said the involvement of over 70 SMMEs in the show was unprecedented and that they glad they gave small and micro businesses an opportunity to showcase their businesses on such a world class platform. 

Organisers of the trade show set up Hidden Gems Zone at the main exhibition hall with the aim of giving small businesses the opportunity to network better with the bigger players in the market and beyond. “The goal was to place local businesses on an international platform while enhancing local business and we are happy with that,” the Acting CEO said. 

According to the CEO of ICC, the venue for the three-day long event, 96% of the space was taken up by exhibitors and that showed how successful INDABA 2016 was. “There were 14,000 business meetings among the 5,013 delegates who took part in INDABA,” Lindiwe Rakharebe said. 

She also added that although there was a fall in the number of delegates by 213 compared to the previous year, there was an increase in meetings by 3,000, which was a good sign of the businesses that were likely to be created from INDABA 2016. 

Philip Sithole, who heads the city of Durban’s tourism said they were yet to do a proper evaluation, however judging from what they had seen they believed that INDABA 2016 was a very successful event.