AMONG THE BIGGEST and most prestigious tourism products and services from across the African continent are confirmed to exhibit at INDABA 2014. They will showcase their offerings to the 1441 confirmed top quality travel and tourism buyers (registration is still in process) keen to capitalise on exceptional growing inbound tourism growth to Africa.
To date, less than two months before INDABA 2014 opens on 10 May, 398 main stand exhibitors have confirmed their places, and among them are not only international big-name brands like, Tourvest, Mantis Management, Seasons in Africa and the Amalinda Collection and many others, but also the cream of African leisure tourism products, services and experiences such as Singita.
Together, these exhibitors have a vast global appeal in both the developed markets (namely USA and Europe) as well as emerging markets (namely Africa, Asia, Latin America), and attract the volume of inbound tourists that the continent wants and needs.
Excitingly, a great new addition to INDABA 2014, the TechZone gives the premium digital service providers to the tourism industry an exciting space to meet both buyers and exhibiting delegates. Confirmed so far to exhibit in the INDABA 2014 TechZone are Travelstart (South Africa’s leading online travel agency); WAYN.com (the world’s biggest travel and lifestyle social networking community website); TripAdvisor (biggest destination marketing organisation in the world); Expedia (one of the world’s largest online travel booking agencies); Springnest (offering simple web, mobile and social marketing for small tourism businesses) and Nightsbridge (that offers the industry real time software and marketing links), with a few others still anticipated to join INDABA 2014.
“It has never been more important to plug into Africa’s tourist trade. According to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Barometer, Africa attracted three million additional arrivals, reaching a new record of 56 million in 2013. INDABA 2014 is the single biggest and best platform for doing business in African tourism,” says Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism.
Many INDABA exhibitors are veteran attendants, with about 62 percent of them attending between 11 to 20 years. Among them are leading international travel brands that enjoy impressive global reputations, and have made INDABA what it is today – the most established and best attended trade show in Africa. They will be at INDABA again this year, rubbing shoulders with the best, representing over 23 countries around the continent.
To date, the following destinations (with travel product representation) are confirmed to exhibit at INDABA 2014: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Reunion Island, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
One of INDABA’s unique selling points is that unlike other big international travel shows, it caters not only for international buyers but also for local buyers. INDABA showcases the entire spectrum of African tourism product, from select innovative SMEs, to global international players like Abercrombie and Kent, Private Safaris, Leading Hotels of the World and Relias and Chateaux.
“Local buyers are large Destination Management Companies (DMCs) that offer excellent value add to INDABA, as they not only generate lucrative business, but they also market South Africa as enthusiastically as we do at South African Tourism,” says Nzima.
To inform South Africa’s tourism trade of its three-to-five year growth strategy embracing the rest of the continent, South African Tourism undertook a trade roadshow, visiting South Africa’s major cities and towns. “We explained our plans, but also heard back from trade on how we could further improve INDABA. We took these suggestions to heart, and have implemented some of them in order to better deliver to our exhibitors’ expectations,” says Nzima.
Building deeper relationships with trade is the essence of South African Tourism’s reinvigorated trade strategy domestically and globally, therefore roadshows and workshops have also been held in France, Germany, UK and India.
A new office has opened in Lagos, Nigeria and in addition, for the first time ever, South Africa is taking a delegation of South African exhibitors to the ABAV travel tradeshow in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in September.
Informed by its Hub Strategy, the framework of South African Tourism’s marketing work; marketing expenditure has increased in the exciting emerging markets such as China, Brazil and India, which according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, led outbound tourism growth in 2013.
“Our market mapping has also been refreshed with the latest consumer research, to better understand the intricacies of how the trade operates in these different markets and seize growth opportunities in them,” Nzima says.
South African Tourism is actively recruiting additional INDABA exhibitors across the continent, meanwhile, and is confident more African destinations will register to exhibit. These exhibitors will be announced once their applications have been finalised.
Among those confirmed to exhibit at INDABA 2014 are the Shamwari group, Mala, Legend Lodges and hotels, Zimbali, Tsogo Sun, Grootbos, Premier Hotels and Resorts and Blue Train. In addition, Under One Botswana Sky, Phakalane Resort Hotel, Nesbitt Castle, Sol Resorts, Ichobezi River Lodges, Grand Plains Conservation, Kijongo Bay Beach Resort, Rwanda Air, Safari 2 Gorilla Tours, Eko Hotels and Suites, Moivaro Lodges and Tented Camps and the Hemingway’s Collection will also be present at this year’s INDABA.
Between them they include all the premier African safari destinations, among the most luxurious and desired five-star accommodation establishments, the most sensational and fascinating lifestyle and culture experiences on the continent, a large number of awesome adventure activities and destinations, and among the world’s finest golfing and other sporting destinations.
Suffice to say, INDABA is the global travel sector’s best opportunity to plug into Africa’s record breaking inbound growth. Be sure to register and become a partner for spurring tourist growth to our region to even greater heights.