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18th May, 2013.

Innovative INDABA 2013 comes to a successful close in South Africa

A modern, cutting-edge INDABA 2013,which significantly enhanced networking connections to stimulate tourism trading between buyers and exhibitors, was the hallmark of the most advanced edition of Africa's top travel show to date.

Taking a practical technological leap, while staying true to the importance of personal interaction to grow South Africa's tourism industry, was the standout theme of the four-day show at the Durban International Convention Centre, which ended on Tuesday 14 May 2013.

The 'INDABA Connect' platform, designed to facilitate the effective sharing of contact details, product information, marketing collateral and presentations during the course of the show, received extremely positive feedback from many INDABA delegates.

A total of 240,693 electronic connections (over 60000 per day) were made by 11,458 "INDABA Connect" users, who shared over 14,258 documents.

This was a deliberate eco-friendly initiative, a 'Go Green' approach at INDABA that led to the potential saving of a small forest of 374 trees by minimising the need for piles of printed collateral and business cards.

A total of 26,000 square metres of carpets were laid for the 1,386 exhibitors at the show this year, as INDABA again proved to be the biggest and most relevant tourism trade show on the African continent.

Of the 14,970 square metres of sell-able space available throughout the venue, a total of 14,712 square metres (98%) was sold and occupied at INDABA 2013.

"What was noteworthy at INDABA this year was the impressive quality of the stands and the considerable investment by exhibitors. This was a significant vote of confidence, and added considerably to the quality of the show," said Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.

INDABA was again a chance for major global trade buyers to engage with their pan-African suppliers, tailor-make holiday packages and be exposed to new tourism products.

A total of 2,341 local and international buyers attended the show, up 3% on the numbers who attended last year. The number of independent international buyers attending INDABA 2013 was up 6.86% on last year's figures, with 1 464 international buyers attending the show this year, up from the 1 370 in 2012.

In addition, South African Tourism hosted a further 249 top international buyers at INDABA 2013, significantly up by nearly 20% on the 208 international buyers hosted in 2012.

As yet unaudited figures indicate that well over 10,000 delegates passed through the show's turnstiles over the course of its four days.

Media interest in INDABA 2013 surged this year, with 802 media covering the show, 11% more than the 721 who registered to cover the show in 2012.

Nearly 200 of them were leading international media, with international media numbers up 23% this year to 190.

INDABA was covered by international broadcast networks such as BBC World, China Central Television and CNBC Africa, while there was also continuous live coverage from the Durban ICC by the eNews Channel Africa, as well as a number of SABC current affairs and lifestyle television and radio shows.

There was also strong marketing and sales representation at INDABA from leading global companies involved in the tourism industry, such as the National Geographic Channel, TripAdvisor,, Expedia and CNN.

Thousands of events, activations and networking sessions were held over the course of the four bustling show days, with Durban hotels reporting good occupancies during INDABA.

Around 3,000 formal meetings were scheduled between buyers and exhibitors, using the show's tailor-made Online Matchmaking Diary.

"We set out first and foremost to entrench INDABA's value as the continent's top tourism trade event. We wanted to ensure top-quality buyers, all serious about doing business with South Africa's tourism industry, attended the show, and we are happy that the number and quality of international buyers increased this year.

Working closely with Durban Tourism and Tourism Kwazulu-Natal, we set ourselves the target of hosting 250 top international buyers under the auspices of SA Tourism.

"We achieved this target and are happy to see that international buyers continue to see huge value in INDABA, which equips them with better insight and the information they need to do business with our destination," said Nzima.

"We are confident that our efforts to stimulate meaningful engagements between buyers and exhibitors at INDABA was effective and that this will lead to the generation of millions of Rands in tourism business, and tourists, that will contribute substantially to the long-term growth of our industry," Nzima added.

"I hope the success of Indaba 2013 is not seen only in terms of the numbers of exhibitors, buyers and media attending, but also in terms of the quality of meetings and business linkages forged.

This way Indaba will not be seen only as a four-day event, but one that has a positive impact that results in meaningful deals that hit the bottom-line of the South African trade, with long-term spin offs culminating in job creation and an economic boost for the country," said Tourism Kwazulu-Natal Chief Executive Officer, NdaboKhoza.

INDABA 2013 was certainly the most 'digital' yet, kicked off in exciting style with a Travel Bloggers conference at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on the eve of INDABA which was attended by a full-house of over 300 people.

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Travelscope Magazine is publication with primary focus of serving the travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality sector with the latest global trends in the industry.

Travelscope Magazine is a published by Bisoprints Communication as a rallying point for the advancement of the industry. It has grown to become a clear market leader focusing on constant innovation in the emerging travel, tourism and hospitality sector in Nigeria.


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