New features at this year’s Indaba include a luxury pavilion, exhibitor day and a dedicated section for SMEs, trained and mentored in a partnership by SA Tourism and Satsa. Tourism Update takes a closer look at what in store for this year’s show.

Luxury Pavilion

This year, for the first time, the Indaba tradeshow will feature a Luxury Pavilion, showcasing five-star products and Lilizela Award-winning properties.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s stand showcasing high-end properties will feature a concierge desk providing full reception services. Butler services will be available to visitors to meet, contract with and peruse exhibitor content displayed on large HD touch screens in the media area.

On the stand buyers will also be treated to breakfast, lunch and cocktails, with cuisine prepared by some of South Africa’s top chefs.

Food offerings showcased

Exhibitors at this year’s Indaba have been be given the opportunity to showcase their food and beverage offerings, within parameters set by the Durban ICC.

Neil Nagooroo, SA Tourism GM: Strategic Events and Exhibitions, said the development follows feedback from exhibitors who have asked for this opportunity to be brought back to the show.

Hidden Gems

Ninety small businesses, or ‘Hidden Gems’, in South Africa have been chosen to make their sponsored debut at Indaba this year, courtesy of the National SME Market Access project, an initiative funded by the National Department of Tourism and executed by SA Tourism in partnership with Satsa.

The selection process was rigorous and the SMEs had to present their offerings to a panel, after which 90 were selected out of an initial number of about 300. The businesses were selected based on the relevance of their product and their potential to be sold into the international market.

The selected businesses hail from each of the nine provinces and range from safari tour operators to adventure tourism experiences, from African day spas to township restaurants, from B&Bs to boutique hotels, and from horse riding operations to helicopter rides.

Exhibitor Day

In response to exhibitor feedback, Indaba will have a day dedicated exclusively to exhibitors this year. The Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) takes place on Monday, May 15, at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban.

The morning sessions will feature three presentations and a panel discussion by industry experts in the tourism sector, and be moderated by media entrepreneur and TV personality, Jo-Ann Strauss.

All exhibitors, buyers and media registered and accredited for Indaba are invited to attend this morning session. Registration starts at 08h30, with the first segment scheduled to begin at 09h00.