• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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INDABA 2013: Focusing on heritage and culture


The South African Tourism INDABA 2013, Africa’s top travel show, is set to offer unrivalled opportunities, new innovations and networking platforms for the tourism trade and international buyers this year, to stimulate tourism business in a market growing well above the rate of global growth.

Between January and November 2012, South Africa had attracted over 8.3 million international tourists and grown at 10.5 percent (against average global tourism growth of 4% in 2012), as the country continued to entrench its reputation as a world-class leisure and business events destination.

For all global and local companies, individuals or tourism industry stakeholders keen to share in this growth story, INDABA 2013 at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from May 11 to 14, 2013, will be an unmatched event on the regional African tourism calendar not to be missed.

Last year’s INDABA theme of “Shaping our Future Together” – which paid tribute to the joint efforts of South Africa’s tourism industry and its global partners in achieving the phenomenal growth in recent years – will again be the theme at INDABA 2013, which will also have a strong ‘Heritage and Culture’ focus.

For anyone wanting to do business with South Africa and its Southern African neighbours, and to get a better feel for the regional African tourism industry, INDABA 2013 will be a treasure trove of key introductions, business opportunities and exposure to hundreds of exhibitors across the tourism spectrum.

For the tourism industry, there is the opportunity to interact and forge strong business links with some of the world’s top travel buyers.

Over 1, 165 main and sharing exhibitors and 2, 000 international and local buyers – 250 of them top international buyers hosted by South African Tourism – have already confirmed their attendance, with that number growing daily.

While South Africa is a destination of spectacular beauty, offering every conceivable tourist attraction under the African sun to suit every pocket, the destination’s differentiator is its warm, hospitable people and the memories they leave visitors with long after they’ve left.

A major new addition at INDABA this year will be a ‘Heritage and Culture Pavilion’ located at the Durban Exhibition Centre, which will innovatively showcase South Africa’s world heritage sites, its leisure offerings, culture, art, design and music – all of which combine to tell South Africa’s story, its history, its future and gives better insight into its people.

The pavilion is a major project undertaken by the National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism, in collaboration with the MOJA Heritage Collection, and it will be an exhibition of some of the country’s best heritage and culture tourist offerings and distinctively South African tourism products.

All delegates – exhibitors, buyers, media and visitors – are encouraged to visit the ‘Heritage and Culture’ pavilion, to experience South African stories woven in folklore, myth and history and the country’s globally celebrated sense of style in design, arts and crafts.

“Our market research shows that travellers are increasingly looking to experience the unique, authentic, personal South African stories. They are looking to meet the locals, experience where they live, eat where they eat and be part of the country’s culturally rich lifestyle, while learning about the history of this great country. The Heritage and Culture pavilion will be an exciting addition to INDABA 2013 and we have also included a number of new elements to the show this year which will be of major value to buyers and exhibitors,” says South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima.

INDABA is primarily a trade show, and to this end the Speed Marketing sessions, which were very popular at INDABA 2012, will again be an even more integral part of the show this year, with the focus on National Parks of South Africa on Saturday, Heritage and Culture on Sunday and Wine Routes of South Africa on Monday. The speed marketing sessions will give hundreds of international buyers the invaluable opportunity of being exposed to – and to do business with – a wide cross-section of South African tourism products.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) will again at INDABA 2013 host a master class with TripAdvisor, the world’s biggest and most influential travel website with 60 million unique monthly users. The workshop will be open to all star-graded accommodation establishments and will be an invaluable session, providing tips first-hand from TripAdvisor experts on how best to use the platform to market your establishment to a worldwide and increasingly socially-engaged audience.

Another exciting feature at INDABA for the first time will be a Travel Bloggers conference on the eve of the show, attended by some of the most influential international and local bloggers, who will unpack the changing face of destination marketing and the importance of personalised, user-generated content and social media engagement and its impact for the tourism trade.

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.

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

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. By simply touching a delegate or exhibitor’s tag at an exhibitor’s stand, presentation, event or activation, users will have all the information attached to their online INDABA Connect profile, which will make getting in touch easier and more productive than sharing business cards, brochures and CD-Roms or USB sticks. This will also enable better engagement for delegates before, during and after the show – allowing for more meaningful connections this year.

The Matchmaking diary system, designed to facilitate important business connections between exhibitors and buyers at INDABA, will again be in place.