Organizers score Indaba 2013 high

Posted: May 29, 2013 in travel & tourism

satA modern, cutting-edge INDABA 2013, which significantly enhanced networking connections to stimulate tourism trading between buyers and exhibitors, was the hallmark of the most advanced edition of Africa’s top travel show to date.

Taking a practical technological leap, while staying true to the importance of personal interaction to grow South Africa’s tourism industry, was the standout theme of the four-day show at the Durban International Convention Centre, which ended Tuesday, May 14.

The ‘INDABA Connect’ platform, designed to facilitate the effective sharing of contact details, product information, marketing collateral and presentations during the course of the show, received extremely positive feedback from many INDABA delegates.

A total of 240,693 electronic connections (over 60000 per day) were made by 11 458“INDABA Connect” users, who shared over 14,258 documents. This was a deliberate eco-friendly initiative, a ‘Go Green’ approach at INDABA that led to the potential saving of a small forest of 374 trees by minimising the need for piles of printed collateral and business cards.

A total of 26,000 square metres of carpets were laid for the 1,386 exhibitors at the show this year, as INDABA again proved to be the biggest and most relevant tourism trade show on the African continent. Of the 14,970 square metres of sell-able space available throughout the venue, a total of 14,712 square metres (98%) was sold and occupied at INDABA 2013.

“What was noteworthy at INDABA this year was the impressive quality of the stands and the considerable investment by exhibitors. This was a significant vote of confidence, and added considerably to the quality of the show,” said Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.

INDABA was again a chance for major global trade buyers to engage with their pan-African suppliers, tailor-make holiday packages and be exposed to new tourism products.

A total of 2,341 local and international buyers attended the show, up 3% on the numbers who attended last year. The number of independent international buyers attending INDABA 2013 was up 6.86% on last year’s figures, with 1 464 international buyers attending the show this year, up from the 1, 370 in 2012.

In addition, South African Tourism hosted a further 249 top international buyers at INDABA 2013, significantly up by nearly 20% on the 208 international buyers hosted in 2012.

As yet unaudited figures indicate that well over 10,000 delegates passed through the show’s turnstiles over the course of its four days.

Media interest in INDABA 2013 surged this year, with 802 media covering the show, 11% more than the 721 who registered to cover the show in 2012. Nearly 200 of them were leading international media, with international media numbers up 23% this year to 190.

INDABA was covered by international broadcast networks such as BBC World, China Central Television and CNBC Africa, while there was also continuous live coverage from the Durban ICC by the eNews Channel Africa, as well as a number of SABC current affairs and lifestyle television and radio shows.

Thousands of events, activations and networking sessions were held over the course of the four bustling show days, with Durban hotels reporting good occupancies during INDABA. Around 3,000 formal meetings were scheduled between buyers and exhibitors, using the show’s tailor-made Online Matchmaking Diary.

INDABA 2013 was certainly the most ‘digital’ yet, kicked off in exciting style with a Travel Bloggers conference at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on the eve of INDABA which was attended by a full-house of over 300 people.

The Heritage and Culture Pavilion, another INDABA first, put the spotlight on South Africa’s heritage and culture tourism experiences and attractions and on the country’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites.  This proved to be an extremely popular addition to INDABA and a cornerstone of the show. The Pavilion was a joint project initiated by the National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism, in collaboration with the Moja Heritage Collection.  The Pavilion also featured creations from top South African designers, Nkhensani Nkosi, David Tlale, Marianne Fassler and Thula Sindi, which were all inspired by the country’s world heritage sites.

With INDABA 2013 now successfully completed, preparations have already begun in earnest for next year’s show.

“We will have a thorough reviewof all elements of this year’s INDABA, and we will work closely with the trade to ensure next year’s show is even better. Registrations for INDABA 2014 will open on 24 May 2013 and we have already seen strong interest and excitement.

Given the positive feedback received this year and with South Africa celebrating 20 years of democracy next year, we want to reach out to the industry immediately and reward their loyalty to the event by offering themlong-term benefits and structured packages. We will offer sliding-scale benefits that will benefit INDABA regulars participating in the show in 2014 and beyond. Newcomers to the show will also be able to benefit from early-bird packages which we will make available shortly and provide more information on in due course,” said Nzima.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s