Indaba to become pan-African from 2014 on back of record tourism growth

Filed under Roderick Eime

by Roderick Eime in Durban

South Africa is riding a tourism wave, confirmed by National Tourism Minister, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk at the opening ceremony for Indaba 2013 last night. The travel show, first held in 1979, is one of the most important tourism marketing events in the world and being held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal between 11-14 May 2013.

“We welcomed approximately 9.2 million tourists to our shores last year. Our overall international tourist arrivals growth in 2012 was 10.2 per cent,” said van Schalkwyk. “This was against an average global industry growth of 4 per cent. We certainly performed remarkably. We are growing into a most sought-after tourist destination, with a vast array of unique experiences on offer.”

Building on this confidence, van Schalkwyk announced that Indada would embrace the entire African continent from 2014.

“We will be gradually increasing African participation at the Indaba in 2014 and beyond. That will ensure more exhibitors and more buyers, which will be good both for South Africa and the African continent,” he said.

In support of this strategy and to bolster key markets, South Africa will expand its global operations with the opening of new offices.

“In the coming year, SAT will open fully-fledged offices in Brazil, Angola, Kenya and Nigeria, whilst also expanding its marketing presence and partnerships with the trade in South Korea, Russia, Scandinavia, Shanghai in China, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania.”

Minister van Schalkwyk also acknowledged the importance of domestic tourism in South Africa and how the country should work together for the common cause, stating “tourism is everyone’s business”.

“I look forward to continue taking the hands of all our partners as we celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy and 20 years of tourism, and as we put our heads together to lay the foundation for another 20 years of new opportunities and fulfilling experiences,” he said at the conclusion of his speech.

For full text of the speech and more information on Indaba, visit the website at

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