April 18th, 2012
WITH South Africa's tourism industry showing resilience in tough global economic times in 2011 and recording good growth, INDABA 2012 is again set to be a crucial platform for sales and the forging of strong partnerships with all industry stakeholders to grow the sector.
More than 13,000 delegates are expected from across regional Africa and around the world at INDABA 2012 at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 12-15 May for the biggest regional African gathering of tourist industry professionals and role players, under the theme of "Shaping Our Future Together".
"To be successful in the tourism industry requires the joint effort, hard work and cohesion of all partners to achieve continued tourism growth. Our industry has done extremely well with our 2011 tourist figures to build on record 2010 growth. Now, it is up to everyone in all parts of the tourism value chain - in both the public and private sector - to be united in continuing to aggressively defend our core markets and to pursue new markets which show rich potential," said Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, as the annual INDABA showcase draws nearer.
Over the last year, South African Tourism has extended its industry partnerships worldwide through signing 128 Joint Marketing Agreements (JMAs) with tour operators, travel agents, airlines, buyers and a range of other tourism industry role players to enhance South Africa's status as a world-class tourist destination and to ensure demand for the country's tourism product remains strong.
"At the very heart of INDABA is facilitating the best platforms and matchmaking opportunities to conduct business and to this end the senior representatives of these influential tourism industry stakeholders, along with over 200 international hosted buyers, will again be important guests at INDABA to interact with the local tourism trade," said Nzima.
An important element of INDABA 2012 will be three ‘speed marketing' sessions, facilitated by SA Tourism's Product department. These sessions will focus on South Africa's world leadership in the area of ‘sustainable and responsible tourism'; on the renewed importance of ‘heritage and culture tourism' and on ‘adventure tourism' and will give buyers an opportunity to meet as many representatives of South Africa's tourism product as possible across these respective fields.
Representatives from top online tourism specialists, TripAdvisor, will conduct a workshop on Sunday 13 May 2012 to educate South Africa's tourism product on how to enhance their presence on TripAdvisor with photos and videos; enhance their websites with free TripAdvisor tools; how to maintain a positive online reputation; how best to respond to guest reviews on TripAdvisor; how to implement strategies to get more positive reviews on TripAdvisor and how to deal with negative TripAdvisor reviews.
South African Tourism has developed a new INDABA App, where all delegates can download the list of exhibitors, the programme of events, the appointment scheduler, maps, floor plan and the interesting fast facts about INDABA this year.
The App is a commitment to strive for a carbon-neutral and paperless INDABA and South African Tourism encourages delegates to download our INDABA App from the INDABA website (www.indaba-southafrica.co.za) or from the INDABA LinkedIn group homepage. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android devices.
"We've again got a full INDABA programme which will allow our tourism industry to get together and collaborate over four busy, but fruitful days of the show. The speed marketing sessions are a great introduction to the INDABA format, making it even easier for buyers to make contacts and be exposed to the great product on offer in South Africa," said Nzima.
"As always, we encourage the tourism trade to take full advantage of the various INDABA platforms to make sure that they meet with - and do business with - key hosted buyers from around the world and also interact with the South African tourism trade," Nzima added.
The INDABA Opening Ceremony will be held at 5pm on Saturday May 12. It will this year be held jointly with the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
It's not too late to register for INDABA 2012. For full details go to www.indaba-southafrica.co.za. INDABA is a South African Tourism global event and is held this year in Durban from May 12-15 2012.