INDABA in Durban is traditionally the largest tourism event in South Africa May 10-12 has is getting competition this year with the World Travel Market (WTM) Africa planned for CapeTown May 2-3 and competing head to head for exhibitors and buyers to make a decision where to attend.
Today Marthinus van Schalwyk the South African Minister of Tourism released an interesting statement clearly throwing his support behind INDABA.
His statement reads:
The Tourism MINMEC, representing all spheres of government, is the inter-governmental coordination body comprised of the Minister of Tourism, all provincial tourism MECs and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). During our meeting of 10 March 2014, we received a report on the progress with transforming INDABA into Africa’s premier trade show as well as planning for INDABA 2014. INDABA is the annual trade show where product owners and service providers in the travel and tourism value chain are matched with global buyers.
INDABA is growing from strength to strength, and over the years we, in national, provincial and local tourism authorities, have worked very closely with the private sector, including international buyers and exhibitors of tourism products and services, to build this platform. As such, over the 20 years of democracy, INDABA has been a major contributor to the positioning of our country and region on the global tourism landscape and the impressive growth in international tourist arrivals. Last year during INDABA – in response to a changing competitive environment and the needs expressed by our trade partners – we announced a number of steps to further modernise the trade show and to expand its reach as a pan-African trade platform.
INDABA will take place from 10 to 12 May 2014 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC) & Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC).
For two years in a row, INDABA has won the award for Africa’s best travel and tourism show. This prestigious award is presented by the Association of World Travel Awards. We are proud to announce that at this stage, 22 countries from our continent have confirmed their participation at INDABA 2014. The soaring African participation is as a result of the successful execution of a joint plan with our trade partners, trade shows, airlines and chambers of commerce in identifying and attracting suitable new products from our continent to Indaba 2014.
To date, two months before the show, approximately 1242 buyers have confirmed their attendance for this year’s INDABA.
MINMEC reiterated its unwavering and unanimous support for growing INDABA and consolidating its position as the premier tourism trade show on the continent. All efforts and resources will be directed towards achieving this goal to the benefit of the South African trade and our continental partners. MINMEC also reiterated that, given prevailing market conditions and the current extent of the continental market, there is realistically at this point in time room for only one such Pan-African trade show and that is INDABA.
In this context, MINMEC noted a recently launched initiative that may compete with INDABA. It is not the place of government to prescribe to the private sector where they should invest their energy and resources when it comes to staging such competing initiatives. However, MINMEC is sending a very clear signal that it is committed to continue hosting, resourcing and positioning INDABA as the premier trade show in South Africa and the continent.
Furthermore, consistent with our normal multi-year cycle of competitive bidding for the hosting of INDABA, a new bidding process for the next hosting cycle will commence just after INDABA 2014. Various strategic options on further enhancing Indaba will be considered as part of this process.