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11th May, 2013.

Speed Marketing Sessions to be the engine of trade at INDABA 2013

INDABA is all about facilitating connections and business between buyers and South Africa's tourism trade, and in a sprawling show spanning thousands of square metres, the innovative 'Speed Marketing' sessions will again be a showcase not to be missed.

Introduced with much success at INDABA 2012, excitement is growing for the Speed Marketing sessions which are again this year set to give over 200 international buyers easy access and exposure to a wide cross-section of South Africa's tourism products under one roof.

On the first day of INDABA on Saturday May 11, the focus will be on 'South Africa's National Parks and 'EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE', on Sunday the spotlight will be on South Africa's 'Heritage and Culture' tourism products and on Monday it will be on 'South African Wine Routes'.

All the daily sessions will take place from 12h30 to 14h00 in Meeting Room 22 at the Durban International Convention Centre.

The renowned musician Johnny Clegg was the special guest speaker at the 'Heritage and Culture' Speed Marketing session last year and multi-award winning guitar supremo Vusi Mahlasela will provide some star power as the guest speaker at the not-to-be-missed 'Heritage and Culture' session this year.

Around 20 tourism products will make 4-5 minute presentations and 'sales pitches' to the international hosted buyers, supported by backing presentations and imagery of their tourism offerings.

These fast, highly-effective sessions were exceptionally well received last year, and generated numerous introductions that led to lucrative deals for the tourism industry.

Last year's sessions focused on the fields of 'Responsible and Sustainable Tourism'; 'Adventure' and 'Heritage and Culture' tourism products.

The Speed Marketing sessions give buyers easy access to the South African trade, enabling them to plan optimally and impact positively on the bottom line of their businesses, as well as on the bottom line of South African businesses.

"Tour operators are continuously looking for new, innovative and exciting products to package, so that they can keep their itineraries fresh and sell-able.

We are excited at the considerable interest we have seen from top international buyers in attending the Speed Marketing sessions this year and delighted too that some of South Africa's top tourism products, across a diverse spectrum of tourism offerings, will be represented," says Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima.

The products chosen for the Speed Marketing Sessions, Nzima said, are in line with what is being demanded by tourists flocking to South Africa in great numbers.

"South African Tourism's international research has shown that heritage and culture experiences, wildlife, scenic beauty, adventure, lifestyle offerings such as food and wine, and responsible tourism products are among the most requested activities by tourists.

These Speed Marketing sessions respond to this need and facilitate key introductions and networking opportunities for our tourism industry. Johnny Clegg was a big hit at the Heritage and Culture session last year and we are delighted to have another musical legend in Vusi Mahlasela lending us his considerable support this year," said Nzima.

For the Heritage and Culture session, 20 products have been chosen to showcase their offerings. They include, Andulela (interactive cultural experiences), Apartheid Museum, Cradle of Humankind/Maropeng, Cullinan Diamond Mine, Freedom Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park (World Heritage Site), Iziko Museums, Jhb City - Arts and Culture, Lesedi Cultural Village, Liliesleaf, Maboneng, Mapungubwe World Heritage Site, Neighbourgoods Market, Nelson Mandela Museum, Origins Centre, Robben Island Museum, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), TEP Hidden Treasures, UKhahlamba Drakensburg and Wits Arts Museum.

For the SANParks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife session, the country's national parks will be showcased, while for the South African Wine Routes session, South Africa's finest vineyards will present their best offerings to the trade.

Johan Radcliffe, owner-director of Dirty Boots Adventure Guide, which co-hosted the adventure session last year, said, "The Speed Marketing session was definitely one of the most effective elements of INDABA 2012. Afterwards, numerous people came to our stall to continue the dialogue with a view to doing business."

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