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The number of exhibitors at Indaba 2012 has declined compared with last year, according to figures released by South African Tourism.

There were a total of 1 500 exhibitors at this year’s event, compared with 1 610 in 2011. There were 10 700 visitors recorded at Indaba 2012 but this was not counting Tuesday (the last day). A total of 11 205 visitors attended over the four exhibition days in 2011.

According to SA Tourism, the event’s key focus was on consolidating 2011’s solid arrivals growth and cementing partnerships to ensure South Africa’s global tourism competitiveness and future growth.

A number of innovations were introduced for the first time at the event: The Shongololo Speed Marketing Sessions, a first by South African Tourism that gave exhibiting companies access to more than 200 hosted international buyers in a series of short meetings; the electronic matchmaking diary through which more than 3 700 business meetings were set up; and South African Tourism’s Indaba App, which gave delegates instant access to the event on their mobile devices.