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South Africa is ready for Ghanaian travelers; they’ll experience more than Amapiano and wine – SA Tourism CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of South Africa Tourism, Nombulelo Guliwe has said her country is ready to welcome and entertain Ghanaian travelers. And this time, it will be more than just Amapiano and wine.

Over the years, South Africa has dominated the Ghanaian wine market, and recently, amapiano – their trademark afrobeats music which has also gone global. But to experience more than wine and amapiano, Nombulelo Guliwe has said South Africa has opened its doors to Ghanaians to come and experience their music, food, wine, wildlife, and beautiful weather.

She made this statement during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, during the 2024 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba.

“South Africa is ready for our guests from Ghana. They will experience more than Amapiano and wine,” she told David Mawuli.

Nombulelo said Ghanaians and other African leisure seekers who visit other continents for leisure instead of Africa are missing out.

“You are missing out if you don’t want to travel your own continent. It is also unfortunate that as Africans we don’t want to grow our own sector that ultimately contributes to our economies,” she said. “The same countries and continents outside of Africa, their people travel their continents and countries and that’s how they grow their economies.”

She continued: “The first thing I’ll say is that people must reconsider and analyze the impact of traveling your own continent because there are benefits to it. We already know it’s beautiful and has got diverse tourism offerings but it’s been proudly African. That’s why I always say that Africa’s Travel Indaba is a pan-African trade show. Because it is important for the African continent and its economy that we invest in our own continent.”

“Domestically, sometimes, you find South Africans saying I’m a South African and I know the country but it’s our job to educate them about Africa and the experiences. Some of our strategies are to pro-analyze our competitors so that we can respond to that and get to retain our travelers.”

South African Tourism CEO Nombulelo Guliwe meets Ghanaian journalists, David Mawuli, Akesse Sanza and Maclean Kwofi
South African Tourism CEO Nombulelo Guliwe meets Ghanaian journalists, David Mawuli, Akesse Sanza and Maclean Kwofi

On her authority’s strategy to retain repeated visitors from Ghana and other West African countries, she said her country has invested in West Africa and is eager to do more.

“We have invested in an office in West Africa so that we will be able to service the region and the hub. We don’t have a physical presence all over the world but, this particular market (West Africa) was important to us so that we have close proximity.”

“So we then invested physically in it and we’ve got highly talented and capable individuals who are selling South Africa in West Africa. Why? Because it is important for us. Our numbers to South Africa are driven by the African continent. We’ve got almost 7 million of those from the continent.”

Nombulelo admitted that South Africa can even do better but it all boils down to resources. She said her authority is still exploiting other opportunities to drive numbers to South Africa.

“Can we do more? Definitely. Not just investment but resources as well. We’ve got capable people who are marketing South Africa and are engaging with trade and the media to seek opportunities for us to drive our numbers to South Africa. We will keep doing that because this is an important market. And I think the fact that we’ve experienced more than 240% growth in this market, it is also a testament that the efforts and investments put in the market are actually working.” she concluded.

 ‘Africa has a lot to learn about tourism’ – SA Tourism Minister

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa is all in on a ‘single travel market’ for the African continent – a motion she insists would help Africa develop faster and open the world to the continent’s enormous destinations.

Patricia de Lille in an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, said African Tourism Ministers should unite and use forums like Africa’s Travel Indaba to learn from each other.

She said for Africa to succeed in the tourism industry globally, the continent needs to improve intra-Africa travel, that way, it will be easier for African travelers to inter-connect within the continent.

“The Eastern part of Africa is doing better than South Africa – I’m referring to Tanzania. We have to learn,” she told David Mawuli.

“It is forums like this [Africa’s Travel Indaba] where we get together as African Tourism Ministers where we can share experience and learn from each other.”

She continued: “First of all, Africa is a lot more destinations. You need to actively go out there and lobby airlines to fly to your country and also improve inter-Africa travel. That is the most difficult part. It is easier to connect Africa to the world but it’s very difficult to inter-connect within the continent.”

The Minister referred to the African Union’s Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) agreement that aims to transform intra-African air travel, lower prices and increase connectivity, as a strong tool Africa can use to make travel easy and accessible within the continent.

“In 2010, the African Union decided to have a single travel market for the continent. It was finally launched in 2018 in Rwanda, and some agreements were signed and currently, only 15 have rectified this agreement.  So, it’s only 15 countries that are trying to get together.”

She highlighted territorial issues and bilateral agreements as some of the challenges that aren’t making SAATM come to fruition.

Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 sees 7 per cent delegates participation as compared to 2023
Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 sees 7 per cent delegates participation as compared to 2023

“There’s a lot of territorial issues –  in some instances, we’ve got a bilateral agreement with a specific African country. But African countries prefer to stay with the bilateral agreement rather than the bigger picture where you could look at the continent as a whole. So we’ve got a lot to learn,” she advised.

This year, Africa’s Travel Indaba generated over R500m to the City of Durban’s economy. According to initial indications, this year’s event hosted 9280 registered delegates marking an incredible 7% increase when compared to 2023.

No less than 24,000 meetings were held between exhibitors and buyers.  The event also featured over 1200 exhibitors who displayed an impressive array of African tourism products and experiences.

The economic activities triggered by Africa’s Travel Indaba, from event infrastructure to accommodation establishments, restaurants, and shuttle services, have been far above our initial conservative projections, according to Winile Mntungwa, Deputy Head of  Durban Tourism.

The direct economic impact on the city was R226 million, with a spillover effect contributing an additional R333 million. The overall contribution to the city’s GDP exceeded R500 million, indicating significant economic benefits and over 1,000 jobs created, especially for the youth.

South Africa preparing two types of visa waivers for Nigeria

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs is preparing two types of visa waivers for Nigerian travelers following the recent visa-free agreement with Ghana.

In November 2023, Ghana and South Africa announced a visa-waiver deal, allowing citizens to move freely between them. The visa-waiver allows for travel for up to 90 days within a calendar year for business or leisure purposes.

Aside from Ghana, South Africa has a visa-waiver agreement with over 30 African countries.

The recent deal with Ghana caused a weeklong banter between Ghanaians and Nigerians on social media, especially on X (formerly Twitter). Even though Nigeria is among the leading countries that frequent South Africa, they are yet to secure a visa-waiver that will ease their movements. However, it appears there is hope.

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Patricia de Lille has said the Department of Tourism is preparing a visa-free deal with Nigerian counterpart to ease travel processes for travelers from the West African country.

She confirmed this deal during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, at the just-ended Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban.

“My interest as the Minister of Tourism is to grow the numbers and open up the African skies,” she said. “But when it comes to the visa regime in South Africa that sits with the Minister of Home Affairs. I’m working with the Minister of Home Affairs.”

She said if she had her way, she would have issued the visa-waiver for all African countries, but she would not interfere with the work of the Minister of Home Affairs.

“If I have my ways, I would have opened all the African countries. We currently have 34 African countries with a visa waiver of up to 90 days is applicable and the option to extend for another 90 days while you are in the country.”

The Minister confirmed that there have been ongoing talks between Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Nigeria and that two visa waivers are in the works.

“I know that a lot of work, but it’s been endless, been going on with our brothers and sisters from Nigeria. My last engagement with the Minister [Aaron] Motsoaledi around Nigerian, he informed me that they are sort of working on two visas.”

“The ones they are working on is for business travel that includes attending conferences and meetings, and the second one is a tourist visa. I’m not quite sure why Home Affairs wants to split it into two for Nigeria, but Nigeria is one of the countries since I became the Minister more than a year ago that has been engaging with Home Affairs around the visa issues.”

“I can find out from the Minister of Home Affairs what is the progress or lack of progress but because it’s his mandate, I won’t be able to give you an immediate answer,” he added.

South Africa urges its citizens to visit Ghana

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Patricia de Lille, has said her country is ready to aggressively market Ghana to its citizens to encourage them to visit the West African country for leisure. This, according to the Minister, will ensure two-way traffic for airlines.

Patricia de Lille announced this new strategy during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, at the recently concluded Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban.

Between January and March this year, South Africa received 1.8 million tourist arrivals from the African continent, marking a significant 74.5% of all arrivals.

Ghana was among the top countries that stood out for its remarkable growth. Ghana recorded a 249.4% surge when compared to 2023, reaching 7,904 arrivals from January to March 2024.

Patricia attributed this remarkable growth to the recent visa waiver agreement between Ghana and South Africa.

But to even strengthen Ghana-South Africa bilateral relations and boost air traffic between the two countries, the Minister has said South Africa will implement integrated marketing initiatives to attract visitors from Ghana and further encourage its citizens to visit Ghana frequently.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nana Akufo-Addo
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nana Akufo-Addo

“We need to now start marketing Ghana more aggressively in South Africa to encourage South Africans also to visit Ghana,” she told David Mawuli on May 14, 2024.

The Minister noted that this initiative will directly benefit South Africa’s aviation industry.

I mean it will increase travel to South Africa because it is directly linked to the South African airspace. If a full flight arrives from Ghana to South Africa but must go back half-empty, it’s not viable for the airlines,” she revealed.

She said the bilateral agreement between Ghana and South Africa will foster this move while creating business and investment opportunities between the two countries.

“Together with the airlines, the Department of Tourism, and the bilateral agreement with Ghana, we need to make sure that we up our game in terms of marketing South Africa-Ghana as a tourist attraction. But we need to combine that with business and investment opportunities.”

“As you know South Africa and Ghana have got a bi-national commission that meets at least twice a year and we’ve started doing joint marketing already,” she concluded.

South Africa’s success in tourist arrivals in recent times is not only credited to African travelers.

In the first quarter of 2024, tourist arrivals from the Americas registered at more than 118, 000, reflecting a 12.4% growth compared to the same period in 2023.

South Africa also saw more than 420,000 tourist arrivals from Europe, an 8.6% increase from January to March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

The United Kingdom remains the top European source market, with more than 125,000 tourists choosing South Africa, marking a 5.3% growth compared to 2023.

Germany experienced a 9.9% increase in arrivals compared to 2023, amounting to over 98,900 tourists.

Asian markets also showed significant growth with more than 49 000 arrivals from the region, representing an astounding 25.4% when compared to the same period in 2023.

Over 16,209 Indian tourists and over 11,000 Chinese visited South Africa, another massive 82% surge in 2024 when compared to 2023.

South Africa invests nearly $10m into security to provide safety for Ghanaians, other tourists

South Africa has invested over R174m (almost USD10m) into its public and private security services in the last few months to provide safety for Ghanaians and other travelers who have chosen the country for leisure and business.

South Africa, which ranks among the best tourist destinations in the world, has over the years recorded some attacks on tourists. However, the country has delivered a swift response to the attacks and perceptions about the country in recent years. The government has invested millions of rands to strengthen its security.

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Patricia de Lille, disclosed this move during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, at the just-ended Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban.

According to Patricia de Lille, South Africa has formed partnerships with both private and public sectors, including the hospitality industry, to provide safe environments for travelers.

“We certainly for the past year formed a partnership with the private sector, police service, National Prosecuting Authority, all provinces and metropolitan cities,” she told David Mawuli on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

“We launched a safety forum and we have put a plan in place to deal with some perceptions — you know, sometimes, perceptions become a reality.”

She said in 2023, the country invested R174m in its security services. Part of it was used to identify ‘hotspots of most visited tourist sites’ and further recruited over 2,000 young South Africans whose job is to serve as ‘safety monitors’ for tourists.

“Last year, the government invested R174m to train and employ 2,300 young people as safety monitors. We identified what we call hotspots – frequently visited tourist establishments – and after we trained them, we deployed them into those areas, including a place like Table Mountain, where there is also a lot of attacks,” she said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nana Akufo-Addo
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nana Akufo-Addo

The Minister said the private sector has contributed enormously to addressing the security challenges in the country.

One of them is an app called Secura. With this app, visitors visiting South Africa can download and log in the number of days they will spend in the country during their stay.

The security-tracking app can give visitors access to 300 security companies, including South African Police services, in case of any attacks. Health-wise, if there’s a medical emergency like a heart attack, visitors will get access to 200 medical organizations.

She further disclosed that in August 2024, the government launched a Control Operation Room that monitors when there’s a response needed from everywhere.

“We regret attacks on any tourist, and we regret sincerely. So when a tourist gets attacked, we’ve put in place what we call ‘After Care Service’. That tourist will be taken to the nearest police station and helped file some charges (against attackers), and we make sure the tourist is safe and in safe accommodation,” she said.

On the resolutions of criminal cases against visitors, she said: “We contact the embassy or the high commissioner of the country where the tourist will be coming from. We also assist with translation services.”

“Formerly, when a charge is laid with the police and the case gets to court, you have to travel back to South Africa to attend court proceedings. We have changed that now with the National Prosecuting Authority for virtual interconnections. This means you can attend South African court from anywhere around the world.”

“We’ve also got a communication strategy around crime issues and the hospitality industry has come on board. In this case, you find a little [security alert] note in your hotel room. There are just certain places you don’t just go at certain times. So when tourists go on hikes, walks, and all of that, they will be monitored. It really helped us. The summer season is over now but we didn’t have many attacks this year.”

Tourism Minister, Honourable Patricia De Lille
Tourism Minister, Honourable Patricia De Lille

Hon. de Lille revealed that she has further communicated with embassies to echo these security messages to their respective citizens who are willing to visit South Africa.

“In November, I called all the High Commissioners, Console Generals, and Ambassadors together to inform them about our safety plans and asked them to inform their potential tourists planning to visit South Africa. Through our own Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, we shared the plan for all the South African missions across the world.”

“That is what we’ve done for now and we have already seen improvement,” she concluded.

Between January and March this year, South Africa received 1.8 million tourist arrivals from the African continent, marking a significant 74.5% of all arrivals.

Ghana was among the top countries that stood out for its remarkable growth. Ghana recorded a 249.4% surge when compared to 2023, reaching 7,904 arrivals from January to March 2024.

Patricia stated that the recent visa-waiver agreement between Ghana and South Africa contributed to this impressive growth within a short period.

Here’s how much liquid you can take on a plane

On my way from South Africa, after the just ended Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban, my bottled water was seized and dumped in the trash bin by the customs. I’ve escaped this a couple of times but I was unlucky this time around.

When it comes to liquids on flights, there are some strict rules and I think you should know this before getting on any flight, especially in Europe and the UK.

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or jetting off on your first adventure, it’s important to know the rules and restrictions regarding liquids when flying. From sun cream to makeup, there are guidelines in place to ensure a smooth travel experience.

Understanding Liquid Restrictions

When flying from UK airports, both hand luggage and hold luggage have restrictions on liquids. The government website clearly states that there are limitations on the amount of liquids allowed in your hand luggage. To avoid any issues, it is advisable to pack liquids in your hold luggage instead.

If you do choose to carry liquids in your cabin bag, containers must not exceed 100ml, although some airports have waived this rule for specific items such as medical necessities, dietary requirements, baby milk, or baby food.

Changes in Liquid Rules

Some UK airports have already eliminated the 100ml liquid rule, making it easier for passengers. The introduction of 3D scanners at airports will also streamline the security process, allowing travelers to keep liquids and laptops in their bags.

Although major airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester have until 2024 to implement the new technology, some may face delays, possibly extending the deadline to 2025 due to technical challenges.

Airports Lifting the 100ml Rule

London City Airport has already lifted the liquid rule, with Birmingham airport expected to follow suit by June 2024. Other airports like Luton, Bristol, Gatwick, Stansted, and Manchester are working towards implementing the new scanners by early 2025.

Heathrow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, and Newcastle are also on track to have the technology in place by 2024. This initiative aims to enhance security and efficiency at airports, benefitting both passengers and staff.

European Airports Making Changes

Several European airports have either lifted or are planning to lift the 100ml liquid rule ahead of time. Airports in Amsterdam, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, and Palma de Mallorca are among those making changes to enhance the travel experience for passengers.

Traveling with Liquids

When packing liquids, it’s crucial to know what qualifies as a liquid, including drinks, food items, cosmetics, toiletries, and gels. To comply with regulations, all liquids should be placed in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag not exceeding one liter.

It’s important to note that exceptions exist for baby milk, medical supplies, and duty-free purchases, as long as they are properly sealed and declared at security checkpoints.

South Africa ranks 55th globally in 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index

As South Africa’s tourism sector makes headwinds with rapid recovery and efforts to enhance tourism growth, the Department of Tourism is pleased to report that South Africa has ranked the highest in the African region in the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) by the World Economic Forum.

The Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 is the second edition of an index by the World Economic Forum and was released earlier this week where South Africa was ranked 55th among 119 countries and emerged as the leading country in the rankings for the African continent.

The TTDI findings revealed that South Africa is home to the largest Travel and Tourism Economy in Africa.

The TTDI 2024 covers 119 economies and measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country.

“We are extremely pleased with this ranking as it affirms our commitment and work to elevate the significance and contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa. The tourism sector has achieved robust growth over the past year and this is due to closer partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille said.

In the 2024 Index, South Africa moved up 7 places compared to its previous ranking and scored high for price competitiveness, ICT readiness, natural resources and travel and tourism socio-economic impact.

“We are delighted by the growth and our mission remains to exponentially grow arrival numbers and the overall performance of the tourism sector. The sector already makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s GDP and job creation efforts but there is still so much more to be done. We have been working closer with the private sector and we are bearing fruit. I want to acknowledge and thank the tourism private sector stakeholders for all their hard work and collaborating with government to grow this exciting and important sector. The South Africa tourism sector’s greatest asset is our people and we will continue working to grow tourism’s contribution to the prosperity of people and the planet” Minister de Lille said.

In 2023, South Africa welcomed close to 8.5 million international visitors of which 6.4million were from the African continent. This represents a significant increase of 48.9% compared to 2022 arrivals.

During the first quarter of 2024 – January to March – South African welcomed 2.4million visitors from the rest of the world. This represents a notable 15.4% increase when compared with the same period in 2023.

The objective of the TTDI is to serve as a crucial benchmarking tool for stakeholders to gauge the progress of the travel and tourism sector, informing policy and investment decisions. It offers insights into travel and tourism economies’ strengths and areas for improvement, and the interconnected nature of travel and tourism development, as well as facilitating strategic planning and multi-stakeholder dialogue to encourage sustainable and resilient growth at various levels.

The Development Framework of the Index looks at various factors in the travel and tourism economies of countries such as: Enabling environment (business environment, safety and security and health and hygiene), Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions (prioritisation of travel and tourism, openness to travel and tourism and price competitiveness), Infrastructure and Services (air transport infrastructure, ground and port infrastructure and tourist services and infrastructure) as well as Travel and Tourism Resources.

The TTDI is part of the World Economic Forum’s broader work with industry and government stakeholders to build a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future for economies and local communities.

The compilation of the TTDI involves a multi-stakeholder approach by the World Economic Forum and the 2024 TTDI report is based on research collaboration between the Forum and the University of Surrey. The report was also developed through input from leading Travel & Tourism stakeholder organizations, thought leaders and data partners.

“As the South African travel and tourism sector – government and the private sector – we will continue to work with all partners to further interrogate the TTDI findings and identify the areas where major improvements and work is needed to further improve South Africa’s ranking. We remain committed to growing and affirming South Africa’s status as a leading global travel destination and growing tourism’s contribution to the economy and job creation,” Minister de Lille concluded.

Africa’s first Glamping Expo slated for October in Johannesburg

South Africa will host Africa’s first glamping event in October 2024. Glamping Expo 2024 is a unique platform for businesses along the whole glamping value chain. These include suppliers, glamping operators, innovators, manufacturers, architects, insurers, investors, government agencies and many others.

Glamping Expo will take place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec between 28 – 29 October. Organizers of the event believe this is a timely intervention in this niche tourism sector that is on the rise in popularity, necessity and appeal.

“We realized the growth trajectory in the glamping sector over the past five years and this platform will be a constellation of all glamping players under one roof. They will showcase, reflect and chart the future of the glamping industry,” said Dave Mudzingwa, spokesperson of the Glamping Expo.

Statistics show that glamping will grow exponentially, with a forecast of almost US$6 billion to be generated globally by 2030, with an impressive 10% growth annually.

“This projection is in tandem with more research done showing that travellers now prefer to be outdoors but still enjoying the creature comforts, glamping is satiating this market need,” Mudzingwa added.

The Glamping Expo is an annual platform for businesses across the glamping sector and support services sector. Participants will showcase their glamping innovations and products, network with industry peers, and seek potential collaborations and investments. Attendees will have access to market and research intelligence.

The Glamping Expo is designed to empower businesses in the glamping space with insights, connections, trends and innovations that drive success in the luxury outdoor accommodation sector.

Exhibitors, buyers, media and all delegates can register through the Glamping Expo website, www.glampingexpo.africa

Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 sees 7 per cent delegates participation as compared to 2023

According to initial indications, this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba hosted 9280 registered delegates marking an incredible 7% increase when compared to 2023.

No less than 24,000 meetings were held between exhibitors and buyers.  Additionally, the event featured over 1200 exhibitors who displayed an impressive array of African tourism products and experiences.

Themed “Unlimited Africa,” Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 was officially opened by South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Honourable Patricia de Lille and took place between the 14th and 16th of May. It was preceded by a Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) on the 13th of May.

Nombulelo Guliwe Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism, together with Phindile Makwakwa Chief Operations Officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal; Winile Mntungwa Deputy Head of Durban Tourism and John Aritho, Chief Operations Officer of Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) addressed the media at a wrap-up conference of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 yesterday afternoon.

“The economic activities triggered by Africa’s Travel Indaba, from event infrastructure to accommodation establishments, restaurants and shuttle services, have been far above our initial conservative projections. The direct economic impact on the city was R226 million, with a spillover effect contributing an additional R333 million. The overall contribution to the city’s GDP exceeded R500 million, indicating significant economic benefits and over 1 000 jobs created, especially for the youth,” said Winile Mntungwa Deputy Head of Durban Tourism.

Mntungwa added that the economic ripple effect was beyond the city centre as it benefited township and rural tourism and hospitality businesses such as The Silokazis and Octavia Boutique Hotel based at Inanda, Max’s Lifestyle located at the heart of uMlazi, the Coastal Resort based in Umgababa who hosted the travel showpiece delegates.

“We continue to pride ourselves on delivering the best of the African continent’s tourism products and experiences and this year we cemented this position with an increase of 9% in the number of African countries participating in this trade show. This is all thanks to all our partners. The significant increase reflects the robust growth of the African tourism sector,” said Nombulelo Guliwe Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism.

Phindile Makwakwa, the Chief Operations Officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal added: “KwaZulu-Natal is best suited for hosting Africa’s Travel Indaba, given the province’s multi-cultural experience and historical significance, wide variety of tourism products and experiences, capable and quality venues and facilities and our warm people. We look forward to Indaba 2025, which will be bigger and better.”

Makwakwa, also advocated for Durban to become the permanent home of Africa’s Travel Indaba highlighting her confidence in the partnership between South African Tourism, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, the City of Durban and the Durban ICC.

The success of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 underscores its critical role in economic growth, job creation, and displaying the best of African tourism.

John Aritho, Chief Operations Officer at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, said: “Africa’s Travel Indaba is our premier event. As the ICC we have been deliberate about ensuring that the trade show contributes to our local economy in a sustainable manner. That is why we involve students from Durban University of Technology and local chefs by providing them with training and opportunities to assist in the event.”

Nationally, the Department of Tourism funded 120 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) while all the South African provinces participating at the trade show also supported various SMMEs giving them access to the various international buyers attending the trade show.

At the wrap up press conference, all parties thanked members of media for their extensive coverage of the trade show citing the important role media play in sharing the story of an “Unlimited Africa”.

Use Africa’s Travel Indaba platform to drive African tourism story – SA Tourism Minister

The Tourism Minister of South Africa, Honourable Patricia De Lille has urged Africa’s Travel Indaba exhibitors and buyers to use the trade show to drive and advance a positive and powerful African tourism story.

She made this remark during the opening ceremony of the 2024 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Complex (ICC Durban).

Arguably one of the biggest tourism trade shows in the world, Africa’s Travel Indaba over the years has connected buyers and exhibitors and has fostered networking opportunities.

Tour operators, foreign travel agents and destination marketing companies, online bookings agents, transport companies, airlines and travel and tourism companies are among list of buyers whose participation in this event has brought fortune to exhibitors and the South African tourism sector.

Reiterating the event’s impact, Patricia De Lille said Africa’s Travel Indaba provides a platform for African tourism product owners to meet with global buyers who will have a wide variety of products and experiences to engage with.

“We are confident that Africa’s Travel Indaba will continue to be a fertile environment for closing business deals that nurture partnership and drive growth,” De Lille said.

She further stated that Africa’s Travel Indaba is one of the powerful platforms that Africans must continue to use to drive and advance a positive and powerful African tourism story.

Discussing the show’s success, De Lille disclosed that the event has seen ‘ground-breaking growth’ and has welcomed two new countries, Burkina Faso and Eritrea.

“I am so pleased to say that Africa’s Travel Indaba has reached a ground-breaking achievement with the participation of 26 African countries exhibiting this year,” she said.

“These countries represent a total of 344 products that will be showcased is an increase of 14 % compared to last year’s 301 products.

“A special mention goes out to Burkina Faso and Eritrea who are joining us exhibiting at the trade show for the first time” she stated.

De Lille highlighted South Africa’s aim for this year’s show, saying: “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership and wish all our exhibitors every success at this year’s show.”

She continued: “Africa’s Travel Indaba’s value lies in its targeted opportunities for networking and connecting to advance meaningful business for buyers and exhibitors.

“With more than 1 200 confirmed exhibitors including 26 African countries and over 1100 buyers representing 55 countries, Africa’s Travel Indaba is a truly global trade show that is not to be missed.

Buyers include inbound tour operators, foreign travel agents, destination marketing companies, online bookings agents, transport companies, airlines and travel and tourism companies.

With a fully sold-out floor space and well done to all on this ground-breaking achievement.”

Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 kicked off Tuesday, May 14, 2024, and will end on Thursday, May 16, 2024.