THE announcement of Durban as the host City for the Tourism Indaba for further five years was greeted with excitement and standing ovation from delegates attending the 2017 Tourism Indaba at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
 
The exciting news were announced by President Jacob Zuma during the official opening of Indaba today, 16 May which was packed to capacity with delegates coming from all over the world.
 
Zuma congratulated Durban and said: “I trust the City will continue utilising the platform in a strategic way and expose more hidden local owned offerings through this largest tourism marketing platforms on the African calendar which facilitates the clinching of good business deals.”
 
He said, therefore the country needs such events to fast-track tourism goals that includes creating 2,2 million jobs by 2026 and positioning the country as one of the world’s top 20 destinations globally.
 
The president also introduced the new national campaign called ‘WE DO TOURISM’ to further develop the sector which has over the years proved to be one of the key contributors to the country’s economy. “South Africa experienced 13 percent increase of global visitors last year which is good for business.”
 
His excellency added that this campaign will be the key message to encourage people to be involved because tourism is everybody’s business that can change people’s live for the better, especially during these depressed economic times.
 
“By this campaign, we want to see increased participation of black owned products coming from townships and rural areas. We have already started with the transformation as we made possible for 90 black-owned tourism businesses to showcase in Indaba.
 
Zuma, further stated that, they will be aggressively promoting 5 in 5 Tourism Growth Strategy in order to succeed in one of our objectives of attracting five million more international arrivals and domestic tourist within the next five years.
 
“We will achieve this by strengthening ties with existing markets and also developing and investing into new global source markets such as Middle East and Asia. Black entrepreneurs will be targeted to be leaders in growing these new markets to ensure an inclusive radical economic transformation,” said Zuma.
 
An ecstatic, Mayor Zandile Gumede warmly welcomed the news of Durban being the home for Tourism Indaba for the next five years.
 
“We are happy to be afforded another opportunity to continue raising the bar to the level where Durban becomes a permanent home to Indaba which attracts key tourism decision makers around the world,” said Mayor Gumede.
Mayor added that hosting Indaba has big impact to the City as it annually inject R200 million into the economy and allows us to develop our products in line with global trends.
 
“Within this period of five years, we are anticipating that our new products like Oceans Umhlanga and Kings Estate, among others, would have been completed and will maximise this opportunity to market new these new developments in the pipeline,” Mayor Gumede concluded.
 
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