24 Apr 2024

Africa Travel Indaba Drives Boost for Local Economies


South Africa is leveraging the Africa Travel Indaba to unlock the continent's burgeoning travel market and deliver an economic windfall for local communities. The annual tourism trade show in Durban has become a catalyst for growth.

Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela revealed visa waivers driving a 99% surge in Kenyan arrivals, highlighting the power of easing intra-African travel. With over 990 exhibitors from 26 nations, Indaba generated R1.2 billion for South Africa's economy last year alone.

Crucially, the event is providing a platform for often-overlooked township entrepreneurs. Exhibitor Mel Ntombela stated: "Townships have never been marketed as destinations. There are hidden gems among them." Integrating such offerings can uplift local economies.

Authorities also seek to bolster domestic tourism as a resilient backbone. "We learnt post-Covid that domestic travel should underpin the industry to prevent collapse," Mahlalela said.

SAA's Nothando Mathe hailed Indaba's role in data-driven route planning to meet Africa's exponential travel demand. By courting regional visitors while amplifying homegrown hospitality, the Africa Travel Indaba is catalysing inclusive economic opportunities.

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Source: Times Live

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