Not only the national election in South Africa opened a view into a divided country, but now Cape Town is to excited to promote tourism, that they are officially accused of hijacked Durban tourism to do this. Durban is behaving like a jealous competitor in accusing the City on the Cape of Africa to take over their international travel and tourism trade event.
First it was Cape Towns hosting and support of the World Travel Market two weeks ago, and now is it taking advantage of Indaba in promoting Cape Town. Cape Towns support of the World Travel Market triggered a very controversial press release and statement by the South African Tourism minister to throw his support only behind the Durban indaba event forgetting that the World Travel Market in Cape Town may also contribute to tourism to his country.
Durban wanted to get all the glory this time at Indaba . It’s surprising, because Indaba is known to be an international travel and tourism event with exhibitors from many regions in the world and supported by South African Tourism and not just by a regional Durban tourism board. Kind of confusing.
The annual Tourism Indaba ended on Monday in Durban and was attended by nearly 10,000 visitors and more than 1,600 exhibitors, but has left Durban with a bitter taste in its mouth.
Philip Sithole, eThekwini Durban’s municipality’s head of tourism and business development, said the city would lodge an official complaint with South African Tourism, saying its officials allowed the Western Cape and the City of Cape town to conduct “ambush marketing” at an event hosted and sponsored by Durban.
He said this was done by enabling Wesgro, an official destination marketing, investment and trade promotion agency of the Western Cape, to rule the roost at the indaba.
South African Tourism allowed this agency to use advert clips for free to promote the Table Mountain. They also allowed Wesgro to distribute brochures and newspapers for free.
Mr Sithole said it was also allowed to put together street adverts stating that the Western Cape and Cape Town welcomed Tourism Indaba delegates, even though it had not paid a cent to do so.
South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima was not available on Monday afternoon to comment about Mr Sithole’s allegations and those of other Durban officials.
Mr Sithole said the indaba added an estimated R140m to the coffers of several Durban establishments.
Richard Preece, of the east coast region of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa, described the indaba as a welcome boost during a very quiet season.
Issues discussed were the need for Africa’s 54 states to create a more unified visa system that would allow tourists to travel more easily across the continent. The issue of joint visas was discussed widely during the indaba.
South African Tourism said it was engaging and negotiating with other African countries to adopt the European Union model, which allowed visa holders to travel freely throughout the union without hindrance.