Industry gears up for Indaba in Durban in May

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Africa's largest annual tourism and travel marketing exhibition Indaba takes place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (or Durban ICC) and the Durban Exhibition Centre from 8 to 11 May, with pre-show events taking place on 7 May. The show is owned by South African Tourism (SAT) and organised by Kagiso Exhibitions and Events, and is considered one of the big three international tourism events in the world.

During Indaba, product-owners - including a range of establishments, experiences and attractions - set up stands that best reflect their offering and meet and greet local and international buyers of travel products. It hosts approximately 12 000 international visitors from the trade, media and consumers.

Roshene Singh, SAT chief marketing officer, says: "Indaba is the engine room of our destination marketing work and is important every single year. This year's Indaba, however, takes place a month before kick-off for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It's our very last opportunity to show the world how ready and excited the travel industry is for the big global event of June and July 2010."

Exhibitor categories include accommodation, tour operators, game lodges, transport, online travel, media publications, industry associations, transport, camping, safari companies, provincial authorities and provincial products.

Visitor profile includes adventure travel suppliers, business travel agencies, conference organisers, consulting companies, ground handlers, group travel agencies, incentive agencies, marketing services, online travel, retail travel agencies, sports tourism, eco-tourism, tour operators and local and international media.

SAT has put together a list of global trends to look out for at this year's event, based on the findings of trend analyst Daniel Levine. Levine presented on these trends at SAT's other major travel trade exhibition in Johannesburg in February, Meetings Africa.

- Personal growth holidays: People want more than lying on the beach sipping cocktails; they want to learn new skills, climb out of their comfort zones and seek new horizons. They are looking for experiences that will stretch them emotionally and spiritually. Some suggestions include elephant safaris, township tours, visiting remote rural villages and learning to cook local cuisine.

- Creative getaways: Consumers want to express themselves in new and different ways, particularly in the business market, where companies are seeking out locations that stretch their creativity. These include bush lodges, star gazing excursions, wine farm trips, game ranging training and photographic tours.

- Social responsibility-themed trips: Some travellers want to make a difference to a local community while on holiday and South Africa has a number of projects in the "voluntourism" arena.

- Environmental awareness. Green is the new buzzword in travel and tourism, as people are to be more environmentally aware. Many local establishments have marketed their eco-friendly credentials and there are a variety of eco-lodges and excursions that incorporate nature available.

Many major announcements are made during Indaba, including winners of the Welcome Awards, 2010 AA Travel Guides American Express Accommodation Awards and Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk will also launch the National Minimum Standards for Responsible Tourism during event.

For more information on Indaba visit

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