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Tourism Indaba key to Durban and Africa’s economic growth
​ETHEKWINI is set to bid to host the Tourism Indaba for another five years from 2018, following the event’s major contribution to the growth of tourism and the economy in KwaZulu-Natal. The City’s bid for Africa’s largest tourism trade show was unanimously approved by all members of the City’s Economic Development and Planning Committee on 20 April.

The Tourism Indaba takes place annually in different cities and in its 37 years of existence, eThekwini has hosted the tourism trade show for 26 consecutive years. The event which attracts more than 7 000 quality buyers from around the world will be held at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 16 to 18 May. This year marks the end of the hosting rights for the City as per the existing contract.

Acting Deputy City Manager for the Economic Development and Planning Cluster, Phillip Sithole said it is very important for Durban to win the bid because the City needs such big tourism events to continue profiling local offerings to a wider audience and showcasing the best that Durban has to offer to the entire world. “Tourism is one of the key economic boosters and the Tourism Indaba alone injects more than R100 million to the City’s Gross Domestic Product and creates approximately 900 day jobs during its buildup,” revealed Sithole.

Sithole went on to say that hosting this trade show is the greatest global marketing platform for local tour operators and product owners from the Southern African Development Community region to exhibit and meet international traders as well as for them to network with key industry players. “This year, we will host 50 buyers from the United States of America and media, 30 buyers from the United Kingdom who will also be taken on tours to market local products which includes township tourism,” said Sithole. He added that they will also continue to allocate stands to nine local community tourism organisations and Green Corridor to market their services in their respective areas. “Indaba truly promotes the destination and profile of the City to a bigger audience. Last year, 166 international media and 900 buyers attended the event. This year we anticipate 170 global media and more than 900 buyers,” added Sithole.

nonduduzo.ngcongo@durban.gov.za 
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