I was fortunate to be hosted by the South African Tourist Office to attend INDABA, a four day trade event in Durban, South Africa, that attracts well over 13,000 delegates from travel, tourism and related industries. Almost 1,400 exhibitors presented products ranging from Safari lodges and hotel chains to media publications and tourist offices from all over the African continent.
I was one of the 2,400 local and international buyers who attended the show for the opportunity to meet suppliers face to face and network with peers from around the world. The amount of information was overwhelming at times but an amazing opportunity to meet, network, negotiate and relax with old and new friends.
The show itself is held over a 4 day period at the International Convention Center and the Exhibition Center in central Durban. We, as buyers had the opportunity for several weeks prior to the show, to confirm 20 minute meetings with the suppliers we most wanted to see, using an online platform. But it wasn’t just the meetings where you met to network, there were dozens, probably hundreds, of parties and social events, designed to get buyers thinking and talking about Africa as a destination for their clients.
There were also great pre and post tours planned around the event, buyers a chance to explore areas of interest. I choose a tour of Kwazulu-natal before the show and Cape Town after. Both were incredible opportunities to experience some of the amazing destinations in South Africa!
My focus during the show was South Africa as a choral tour destination….more on this in my next blog!