Durban – Themed “I do Tourism”, the 2017 Tourism Indaba in Durban lived up to its expectations. The southern African region came together under one roof to showcase their tourism potential. Zambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Swaziland, continue to support South Africa in their quest to make tourism everybody’s business. The annual Indaba, to be held in Durban for the next five years, is aimed at highlighting the potential that tourism has to unite the world, create job opportunities, and the money other spin-offs that this industry has in the economy. The Indaba also aims to highlight tourism as a means to bring together all other sectors of the economy because everyone has a role to play in this sector. The “I Do Tourism” campaign aims not only to encourage South Africans to be hospitable to tourists, it also aims to encourage South Africans to get in the culture of travelling abroad, something they are not renowned for.
South African Tourism will also soon launch an online product called Good Times in a Box to make travelling abroad less of a hustle. This product will make purchasing travel packages as simple as possible, where everything will be taken care of from accommodation bookings, attractions and entertainment. This will highlight to South Africans that travelling abroad should not be a financial burden.
It is also befitting that the Tourism Indaba is held during Africa month and that offers a great opportunity for Africa to celebrate and showcase the beauty that the continent has to offer. It is also an opportunity for countries to sell themselves not only to their African counterparts but to the rest of the world, and together the African continent channel the continent towards further economic growth. The burning issue of transformation was also highlighted at the Indaba. To ensure rapid transformation, South African Tourism is strengthening its marketing efforts in existing source markets whilst developing and investing into new markets including the Middle East and Asia. Black entrepreneurs will be encouraged to be leaders in growing the new markets with the aim of encouraging 30% black ownership. To attest to the dedication of transformation, the 2017 Indaba hosted 90 black-owned tourism businesses. Furthermore, the development of local tourism initiatives such as township and rural tourism will offer the much loved truly South African experience.