Mouths were masked but thousands of eyes were smiling at Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban this week, back after a two-year break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drummers and dancers welcomed more than 1,200 delegates from 55 countries at the city’s International Convention Centre – buyers, exhibitors along with local and international media.
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Eleven Australian buyers attended the continent’s premier travel show, a four-day event showcasing tourism products from 18 African countries.
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu opened the show and called for greater collaboration among African countries to advance tourism on the continent.
“We are here because we have a collective responsibility to reignite the African continent’s tourism growth and economy,” she said.
“Africa’s Travel Indaba is a springboard for the continent to achieve even greater levels of recovery,” Sisulu said.
The Minister also encouraged attendees to pursue responsible tourism.
“We have to practice tourism that minimises carbon footprints, conserve energy and water, reduces waste and plastic consumption and ensures that the community benefits. It is not an option. It is vitally important,” she said.
Among the exhibitors at INDABA 2022 were luxury brands including the likes of Singita, Rovos Rail, Ker & Downey and Sabi Sabi, to name a few.
The Australian delegates engaged in dozens of meetings with exhibitors and report there was enormous enthusiasm for the Australian market, working with buyers and welcoming Aussies to the continent.
Lead image: The Australian delegation – in the foyer of Southern Sun Maharani Hotel, Durban – included Wayne Hamilton, Hamilton’s Africa; Cyan McLaren, Inventour; Matt McMillan, Eclipse Travel; Gesine Cheung, World Expeditions; Jean Wethmar, Glam Girls Lux Travel; Navy Wong, MW Tours; Chris Suchet-Pearson, Travel Africa, Tony O’Callaghan, World Journeys and Melyne Nercessian, South African Tourism.