from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THE just-ended Africa’s Travel Indaba has contributed R72,5 million (US$4,48 million) to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the host city, Durban.
It was a successful expo as the coastal city experienced hotel occupancy rates of over 85 percent and netted R29 million in direct spending.
Some I45 short-term jobs were created during the summit that ran from May 2-5.
Winile Mntungwa, the Durban’s Deputy Head of Tourism, disclosed the figures.
She said the show instilled confidence in the City of Durban as a great destination and fantastic host.
This after the city suffered as an epicentre of the COVID-19, anarchy and floods between 2020 and 2022.
“Being physically there in a destination gives you a true picture and accurate assessment of the state of readiness to take on tourists again after the triple pandemics – July unrest, COVID-19 and recent floods,” Mntungwa said.
“All doubts about the city’s preparedness to yet again offer its exciting tourism products have been removed through hosting this travel extravaganza,” she said.
Africa’s Tourism Indaba was a boost for the continent’s tourism sector as well as the host city and the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
“The 2022 edition of Travel Indaba had an air of exciting event, real connection, love and passion,” said Phindile Makwakwa, the acting Chief Executive Officer of Tourism KZN.
Lindiwe Rakharebe Durban ICC CEO, said although the convention centre was affected by flooding recently, they worked around the clock to get it ready for the most prestigious travel show on the African continent and the third must-see in the world.
“The 2022 Africa’s Travel Indaba was an incredible show. We pulled it off against all the odds,” Rakharebe said.
This three-day travel showpiece that attracted 3 700 delegates and hosted 14 000 successful meetings has been described by organisers as a “great show, in exciting times and successful.”
Hundreds of buyers and exhibitors from 55 countries descended on the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) to trade on the continent’s best tourism products and experiences.
Of the 55 countries present, 19 were from the continent.
“We are a continent full of people with initiative,” said Themba Khumalo, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.
“We have the energy and passion to revive an entire industry, such as tourism, with our own hands. Our story says to the world that we are ready to welcome them and we are open for business,” Khumalo.
– CAJ News