Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024, held in Durban, has made a substantial economic impact, generating over R500 million for the city.

This year’s event, themed “Unlimited Africa,” attracted 9280 registered delegates, a 7% increase from 2023, and facilitated 24,000 meetings between exhibitors and buyers.

Officially opened by South Africa’s Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille, the event, held from May 14-16 and preceded by a Business Opportunity Networking Day on May 13, showcased over 1200 exhibitors presenting a diverse array of African tourism products.

Key figures from South African Tourism, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Durban Tourism, and the Durban ICC addressed the media, highlighting the event’s economic success. “The direct economic impact on the city was R226 million, with a spillover effect contributing an additional R333 million. The overall contribution to the city’s GDP exceeded R500 million, creating over 1000 jobs, particularly for the youth,” stated Winile Mntungwa, Deputy Head of Durban Tourism.

The economic benefits extended beyond the city centre, positively affecting township and rural tourism and hospitality businesses. Local enterprises such as The Silokazis, Octavia Boutique Hotel, Max’s Lifestyle, and the Coastal Resort in Umgababa were among those that hosted delegates.

Nombulelo Guliwe, CEO of South African Tourism, celebrated the event’s success, noting a 9% increase in participating African countries. “This significant increase reflects the robust growth of the African tourism sector,” said Guliwe.

Phindile Makwakwa, COO of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, praised KwaZulu-Natal as an ideal host due to its cultural diversity and historical significance. Makwakwa advocated for Durban to become the permanent home of Africa’s Travel Indaba, citing confidence in the partnership between key tourism stakeholders.

John Aritho, COO of the Durban ICC, emphasized the sustainable local economic contributions of the event. The ICC involved students from Durban University of Technology and local chefs, providing training and opportunities to participate in the event.

Nationally, the Department of Tourism funded 120 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), with all South African provinces supporting various SMMEs, giving them access to international buyers.

The wrap-up press conference acknowledged the media’s role in promoting the event, reinforcing Africa Travel Indaba’s importance in driving economic growth, job creation, and showcasing African tourism.
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