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Tourism Indaba 2011

Nox Rentals has recently returned from Africa’s top travel show. Every year the Tourism Indaba is hosted by Durban, “the warmest place to be”. The city did a great job of welcoming guests and delegates, and the event was well run although not as well supported. The local taxi drivers were loving the influx of guests to Durban, but Indaba delegates seemed to think it wasn’t as well supported this year, with fewer exhibitors present.

Some stats off the bat to put it all in perspective:

  • 12 000 attendees
  • 100 000 hours of set up
  • 27 000 Square metres (equivalent of 4 soccer fields)
  • 6.5km electrical cable

We were lucky enough to be present at the Cape Town Tourism Stand, a brilliantly colourful design that represented the world’s number one voted destination by Tripadvisor for 2011. We shared the stand with other local Cape Town companies as well as the guys promoting Table Mountain as one of the new 7 wonders of nature. At the moment Table Mountain is lagging and with under 200 days to go, we need your vote. SMS “table” to 34874, or vote online here.

Tourism Indaba is aways a great way to meet up with all kinds of contacts from the industry, and the usual events allow for some … um, networking. Some of the highlights are definitely the Jewel Africa cocktail party and diamond giveaways, and the annual Indaba Beach Party. Every year Joe Cool’s on the beach front is populated with Indaba visitors, but this year Joe Cool’s has changed ownership and name, which left us all a little diorientated.

Pretty much every exhibitor had some edible draw card on their stand. I don’t think it was how much money you spent on your design, but rather the attractive eats you displayed. Jewel Africa out did themselves with macaroons! (Jewel Africa – diamonds and macaroons, clearly the winners). You can see the other stand winners for this year’s Indaba here.

From chatting to our suppliers and guests, the consensus seems to be that 2011/2012 tourism is looking a lot slower than previous years. The strength of the Rand has made it more difficult for foreign guests to travel to our country on the same budgets they’ve had in the past. Travel and tour operators are relying more on discounts and leeway from suppliers to meet visitor demands. However, January 2011 stats show a 9.3% increase to in visitors to SA, compared to 2010.

There is big encouragement to South Africans to travel more of our beautiful country. Something I was reminded of at Indaba, is how much we have to offer. Every province has it’s gem and is worth a visit.Travel doesn’t have to be a luxury – we have the most amazing beauty and experiences on our doorstep.

Click here to read the Daily Indaba news.