Indaba 2014 has been opened to exhibitors from all over Africa. It will be repositioned as a “genuinely pan-African travel trade show that offers buyers the best and the widest diversity of African product under one roof”, SA Tourism said at The Summit, which is currently being held at the Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg.
“Indaba is the only true travel and trade show that is owned within Africa,”Thulani Nzima, SA Tourism CEO said. “As the host country, South Africa is excited to unite with its fellow Africans, to join forces and actively raise the profile of our continent in the travel and tourism sector.”
Indaba 2014 will focus on a greater diversity of African travel products. A survey of buyers carried out found that buyers had not seen enough variety at Indaba, Nzima said. He said products from SMMEs would offer this.
Responding to criticism that SMMEs could not afford to attend Indaba, Nzima said SA Tourism would subsidise them. He added that while businesses sometimes complained that they did not get a return on investment from Indaba, these businesses usually did not schedule meetings with buyers.
Nzima rejected a suggestion from the audience that Indaba would face competition from a new entrant to the travel trade fair space – WTM Africa. He insisted that the repositioning of the Indaba followed its recognition that Indaba needed to shift.
He added that Indaba would be positioned as a “one stop shop” for international buyers interested in purchasing travel in Africa. Nzima explained that buyers showed interest in the continent, before they looked at countries or provinces. “International buyers don’t see boarders, so we are expecting to improve both the number and quality of Indaba buyers as a result.”
|Fast facts: Indaba 2014|
|Dates||10th – 13th May 2014|
|Turnout expected for Indaba 2014||3 000 global buyers to attend.
SA Tourism would increase the number of hosted buyers to 600.
|Changes planned for 2014||Introduce a travel technology zone showcasing the latest travel tech trends impacting the industry.
A designated business hub zone with back-to-back table-top meetings, ensuring exhibitors guaranteed access to hosted buyers.
Themed zones, which would group specific tourism experiences together.
“The African continent is potentially the biggest travel and tourism opportunity in the world right now. Therefore Indaba 2014 is the paramount gateway to networking, planning and writing business.”
South African Tourism expects 3 000 global buyers to attend Indaba. “This compares to just over 2 000 buyers that attended this year’s show,” Nzima said. He added that they would increase the number of hosted buyers to 600 buyers, compared to just over 300 in 2013.
According to Nzima, buyers were carefully selected against specified criteria. He added that they have spent time ensuring hosted buyers were people that had a genuine interest in selling Africa and were committed in terms of investment into continent. They would also ensure buyers honoured appointments and would issue warnings if they did not.
Other changes planned for 2014 included introducing a travel technology zone showcasing the latest travel tech trends impacting the industry; a designated business hub zone with back-to-back table-top meetings, ensuring exhibitors guaranteed access to hosted buyers; and themed zones, which would group specific tourism experiences together.
Date: 15 October 2013