INDABA 2013 will be a celebration and showcase of Africa’s professional and vibrant tourism industry, and the variety of world-class tourist offerings available to suit every budget.

Indaba 2013 entrance

Indaba 2013 entrance

Last minute preparations are being finalised for the four-day show at Durban’s International Convention Centre from May 11th-14th, which is aimed at stimulating business between the tourism trade and buyers looking to invest in the Africa.


“Indaba is the largest tourism marketing event on the African calendar. It showcases the widest variety of southern Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international visitors and media from across the world,” says South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima.

He says Indaba is Africa’s most auspicious tourism platform to meet and do business, from forming partnerships to talking about the state of the industry.

“Here is where travel products meet the best global buyers of travel and tourism experiences; and here is where all role players get first sight of global and regional destination marketing plans.

“For two years in a row, Indaba has won the award for Africa’s best travel and tourism show from the Association of World Travel Awards.”

Last year, Indaba attracted 10,793 delegates, including 1,872 buyers from 88 countries. There were more than 1,300 exhibitors, and 721 journalists from around the world.

The same levels of attendance are expected this year. About 13,000 visitors are expected, and exhibitor numbers are rising.

At INDABA this year, particular attention has been paid to making sure that exhibitors, buyers, media and stakeholders are able to connect with all the key people, places and things they need for a successful INDABA.

indaba connect


One of the innovations this year, besides the information on the website, mobile app and social media coverage of the event, is ‘INDABA Connect’, a technology specifically designed to allow easy connections.

INDABA Connect is a simple, but powerful platform that allows information, contact details, images and presentations to be easily shared among show delegates, in a very simple integrated way.



“Indaba has done a great deal to build the Southern African destination brand and, as a brand itself, Indaba has become iconic and recognised across the global travel and tourism community and profession” says Nzima.

“Mention ‘Indaba’ to any key role player in the tourism industry, wherever you are in the world, and they will know exactly what it is: Africa’s premier travel trade show.”

The fact that Indaba is a regional show is what differentiates it from global trade shows, which are open to all destinations.

Nearly 40 Zimbabwean companies are expected to participate at this year’s edition of the Tourism Indaba in South Africa.

Mr Nzima says while Indaba is limited to products within the region, it is by no means a disadvantage, because Indaba showcases a destination and a region that is exceptional.

“It gives the industry an opportunity to build partnerships and it gives global buyers a chance to engage and do business with the offerings of this continent.”

“Indaba is the engine room of the regional travel and tourism industry. It’s where destination Southern Africa is showcased once a year, drawing tens of thousands of delegates from around the world.”


Fast   Facts about Indaba 2013:  
Show Times 11-13 May 2013  09h00 – 18h00
Show Times 14 May 2013  09h00 – 16h00
International Trade Days  11th – 14th   May
Local Trade Days  12th – 14th   May
Number of visitors Expected  13 000
Number of journalists Expected  500


Indaba visitors come to Durban, according to Mr Nzima, to:

• See all that these destinations offer the global market under one roof;

• Bulk buy holiday experiences (that are sold on — all over the world — later);

• Be introduced to Africa’s Tourism global, regional and national destination marketing plans;

• Investigate and plan leisure deals that include all the destinations in the region and many on the continent;

• Advance the cause (and the application) of an industry that’s fair, sustainable and responsible;

• Meet and form partnerships with some of the most influential and powerful people in tourism today from around the world;

• Celebrate excellence in destination marketing; in product and experience innovation; in service and in plans to make our destination accessible to everyone in the world who dreams of coming to Southern Africa; and

• Take stock of triumphs in arrivals growth, plans to maintain growth, defend growth out of key markets and stimulate further growth.

Although market conditions have become easier since the grip of the global recession was at its tightest from 2008-2011, Mr Nzima says conditions remain difficult as many of the traditional markets in Europe and North America are in a state of recovery and disposable consumer spend remains tight. Moreover, competition between destinations for share of market has never been keener.

However, the number of people worldwide who travel is growing with a billion outbound trips having been recorded for the first time last year (source: UNWTO).

“Destinations need to think and act smart. They need to be finely tuned to consumer insights and trends, and need to maximise marketing budgets to ensure campaigns reach the right people with the right messages,” says Mr Nzima.

“Destinations also need to make it easy for consumers to visit, paying attention to accessibility, range of products and services offered variety of accommodation and value for money destination packaging.

“It’s vital, too, to maintain and build relationships with the global travel trade (traditional bricks and mortar businesses as well as the digital and online trade) who are partners in the markets for selling destinations in Africa.

This is an imperative no matter what conditions impact global markets.”


By: Alf James

Date: 7 May 2013