Travel Indaba – Still here after 36 years!

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Tourism has the potential to transform the African continent with its ability to bring about economic growth and create employment. The Tourism INDABA has been bringing together Africa’s tourism leaders, policy makers, global buyers and travel media under one roof for 36 years and as such the INDABA places stakeholders at the forefront of business success.

Tourism has the potential to transform the African continent with its ability to bring about economic growth and create employment. The Tourism INDABA has been bringing together Africa’s tourism leaders, policy makers, global buyers and travel media under one roof for 36 years and as such the INDABA places stakeholders at the forefront of business success.

This year there are to over 700 African exhibitors at the event – the largest number of African exhibitors worldwide. With Over 500 buyers from around the globe expected at the INDABA, it provides exhibitors with a boost as it gives them to the top buyers, leaders and policy makers, while it places buyers in touch with the widest range of African Exhibitors in one place and over a three-day period.

The recent South African Tourism campaign is driving visitor consideration and confidence and it is in the process of renovating its entire online and social media portfolio and SA Specialist programmes to meet the needs of buyers and exhibitors.

Thought leadership Talks
The INDABA also acts as a catalyst for debate and innovation through its MediaTalks and TechTalks.

This year the INDABA Minister’s Media Talk will be facilitated by New York-based CNN news anchor Richard Quest. CNN’s foremost international business correspondent and anchor of “Quest Means Business”, Quest will facilitate a debate on strategic economic importance of tourism and the threats and opportunities associated with it, such as job creation, foreign direct spend and social development. The panel discussion promises riveting debate with esteemed panellists that including the South African Minister of Tourism.

INDABA changes in 2016
As the INDABA continues to grow, each year it is able to implement changes to streamline formats and to create more opportunities for buyers and exhibitors to engage.

To make the INDABA even more user-friendly this year the standard exhibitor briefing sessions will include educational sessions (trade show, including Readiness & Online Diary.

System) while registration for all areas will open at once, instead of the phased model of registration for different areas used previously.

To ensure a more inclusive audience, the opening function format has been changed from a high-end stage production attended by stakeholders and international buyers to a ‘bell-ringing’ at the commencement of the show to pronounce the trade floor open. A welcome function will replace the opening ceremony, also serving as an additional networking function. Attendance will be managed on a ‘first come first serve’ basis.

All buyers will be afforded the opportunity of using a buyers’ lounge. Additional networking opportunities and hospitality will be available in the form of coffee and food vouchers for all buyers, hosted and non-hosted. Last year also saw the online diary and match making incorporating strategic research data, with an increased user-friendliness and enhanced look and feel. This year this is enhanced even further through a single interface for both diary meetings and official events.

The technology themed Tech Talks and Trade Talks that are geared towards sharing market insights with the industry will feature more than one time slot. The repeated time slots will allow for more opportunities for exhibitors to attend the talks.

A New Products and Developments Zone will be introduced with the introduction of a table-top option, providing new participants a cost-effective manner to come on-board while tech exhibitors will be co-located within the ICC to improve proximity and access for trade exhibitors to tech products and knowledge transfer. The action adventure pavilion is also an exciting addition to this year’s INDABA.

The resounding success – and over-subscription – of the two speed dating sessions has led to the addition of a third session this year which focus will be World Culture & Heritage Sites and Safari & Action Adventure.

The HDI/SMME workshop will take place a day prior to the official start of the INDABA. The TEP Engagement is in collaboration with TEP & TBCSA to further develop this sector of the industry.

This article was written by GENIENE PRESTON

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