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HomeAfrica FocusAfrica's Travel Indaba off to a positive start

Africa’s Travel Indaba off to a positive start

The official opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba got off to a great start. The event was preceded by the Durban-KwaZulu-Natal engagement themed: ‘Abound with investment opportunities’ where ongoing tourism developments were highlighted by government leaders and developers.

Minister of Tourism Patricia De Lille announced that international arrival figures from January to March 2024 indicated a significant growth in the South African tourism sector.

The Minister made this announcement during the opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba this morning, 14 May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Minister De Lille said international tourist arrivals have reached 2.4 million, showing a notable 15.4 percent increase compared to the same timeframe in 2023.;

“We have also welcomed over 1.8 million tourist arrivals from the African continent during the same period, with Ghana and Zimbabwe recording the highest numbers. It is also important to note the positive trends in domestic tourism. By the end of 2023, domestic trips had surpassed 130 percent of the 2019 level. Additionally, domestic spending in 2023 increased by over 80 percent compared to spending in 2019,” said Minister De Lille.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube welcomed the positive announcement adding that the provincial government is working towards achieving pre-COVID international arrival numbers.

“We have formulated aggressive plans to revive our key international source markets like the United Kingdom and Germany. We have also had ongoing engagements with international tour operators at platforms such as ITB Berlin and the World Trade Market who have all shown an appetite to revive our linkages and partnerships,” said the Premier.

The official opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba got off to a great start. The event was preceded by the Durban-KwaZulu-Natal engagement themed: ‘Abound with investment opportunities’ where ongoing tourism developments were highlighted by government leaders and developers.

Developments highlighted included Westown in Shongweni, the Babanango Game Reserve, and the multi-billion rands Club Meb Beach Resort.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs Siboniso Duma, represented by MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane, informed trade partners about government’s portfolio of 15 catalytic tourism projects in KwaZulu-Natal valued at R9.4 billion. These projects aim to significantly enhance the tourism potential of the province.

MEC Simelane expressed confidence in the strong investor interest in the province’s tourism sector, predicting that these projects will create 3 000 temporary and 3 000 permanent jobs.

EThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Zandile Myeni said the City offers comprehensive tourism products for both leisure and business travelers.

Councillor Myeni said Durban is South Africa’s second-largest industrial region and has been rated the number one city in Africa for its quality of living. The City boasts world-class transport infrastructure such as the Dube TradePort and King Shaka International Airport, which aligns with the Municipality’s 60-year master plan to drive aerotropolis growth in the form of a smart airport city.

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