Tourism KZN ready to welcome Africa's Travel Indaba delegates next week

KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sboniso Duma. Picture: Steven Makhanya

KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sboniso Duma. Picture: Steven Makhanya

Published May 4, 2023


Durban — KwaZulu-Natal is preparing to welcome 6 000 delegates to attend the Africa's Travel Indaba (ATI) event in Durban on Tuesday.

Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Siboniso Duma said KZN was building on its tourism success of last year, and that the impact of the Tourism Recovery Plan could be seen in the province’s position as the top domestic destination of 2022.

The Indaba is expecting 160 first-time exhibitors who will be showcasing their products, and 18 African countries. Duma anticipates about 6 000 delegates this year, ensuring a 77% hotel occupancy rate. He also expects the creation of 250 jobs and a R130 million boost to the economy. Duma said the event was more than a travel trade show, as it was also an important economic driver and job creator.

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) acting CEO Nhlanhla Khumalo said this year TKZN would be showcasing its tourism routes and some of the exciting new tourism products that had since entered the market.

He said that TKZN was pulling out all stops to ensure that international buyers got to network with some of KZN’s Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) who would be exhibiting their tourism offerings at the show.

“If our SMME’s are to grow and play a role in driving sustainable economic growth and development, we have to provide them with the means to meet with and exhibit their products to international buyers,” said Khumalo.

According to Khumalo, TKZN’s stand would highlight that the province had one of the most diverse product offerings in the country, and this product and experience diversity would be displayed through eight routes that TKZN had packaged for tourists.

He said these were the Battlefields Route, Birding Route, Midlands Meander, Southern Explorer, Drakensberg Experience, Route 66 Zululand, Route 22 Northern Kwazulu-Natal, and the Heritage Route.

Khumalo said TKZN would employ 40 unemployed graduates as ambassadors to assist delegates for the duration of the indaba. Khumalo said the real work would begin once the indaba finished, on May 11.

“Tourism KZN will host more than 50 buyers from across Africa and the globe who will have the opportunity to experience some of the tourism products in various regions of the province. Buyers from India will visit the South Coast and northern KZN,” Khumalo said.

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