INDABA 2017: Experts identify tourism as new gold for Africa
Participants at the just concluded INDABA, one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, have identified tourism as the new gold that could steer African Economies to new height. Held in the Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa, this year’s edition saw a growth in visitors by a whopping 20%.
According to the CEO of South African Tourism (SAT) Sisa Ntshona,“All signs point to Africa being the new tourism frontier,” even as he informed of the global increase in international arrivals of 3.9%, which exceeded the global increase in international arrivals overall.
“So Africa is definitely the happening place to be, with vast untapped tourism potential that could buoy the greater African economy and contribute its prosperity,” he said.
South African President Jacob Zuma further reinforced Ntshona’s statement, as he described INDABA as, “a wonderful way to celebrate Africa Month and to showcase the beauty of our country and our continent.”
Meanwhile, this year’s edition was an opportunity for SAT to strength its partnership with West Africa by hosting 28 Nigerian Tourism delegates. The team was also treated to an especially engaging media session with SAT’s CEO Ntshona and Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, and the discussion revolved around promoting tourism in Africa as a whole.
Speaking on success of this year’s trade show, the Director General of National Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Folorunsho Coker, who attended the event in company of NANTA, TOUGHA and NATOP representatives, said, “It is setting the pace for a Pan-African gathering where eventually every African country will be represented.”
For Bankole Bernard, the president of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), “My perspective this year on indaba is totally different from last year. Last year was my first indaba and we came to observe. This year, I see how the event is no longer a South African one but an African one that is seeking to gather the entire continent together and showcase its products, anchored and hosted by South Africa.”