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INDABA 2022: Storytelling is key as Africa collaborates for tourism recovery

After a three-year hiatus, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2022 is officially open with a call for the continent to work collaboratively to drive tourism growth, so as to accelerate the sector’s recovery.

After a three-year hiatus, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2022 is officially open with a call for the continent to work collaboratively to drive tourism growth, so as to accelerate the sector’s recovery.

On a balmy day at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, over 600 international buyers took their place at the continent’s premier travel trade show, as it opened its doors after a three-year hiatus.

According to South African Tourism’s Acting CEO, Themba Khumalo, the event theme Africa’s stories, your success, asks all Africans to own the continent’s narrative by telling their stories to the world.

“There is one very simple way to grab opportunities: by telling our unique stories. Every single African is a storyteller.”

Africa Indaba

Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu officially opened the trade floor, effectively putting into motion 22,000 scheduled meetings between exhibitors and buyers.

“Africa’s Travel Indaba is a springboard for the continent to achieve even greater levels of recovery. We are here because we have a collective responsibility to reignite the African continent’s tourism growth and economy.”

Africa Indaba

“intra-continental tourism from Africa’s rapidly growing economies and growing middle class is an opportunity begging to be explored. We need improved collaborative efforts between our countries to achieve this.”

Sisulu said all role players in the industry must continue to drive growth in tourism numbers by bringing together a range of Africa’s best and most unique stories and products from across the continent, and connecting them with buyers from across the world. 

She added that the event is about reigniting the spark in old relationships and building new, meaningful connections.

Africa Indaba

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the continent welcomed some 18.5-million foreign travellers in 2021, up from 16.2-million in 2020.

Of that figure, 6.1-million made their way to North Africa and 12.3-million went to sub-Saharan Africa.

A UNWTO report on 25 March this year mentioned that international tourism is expected to continue its gradual recovery in 2022.

By the end of March, 12 destinations had no COVID-19-related restrictions in place and an increasing number of destinations were easing or lifting travel restrictions, which contributes to unleashing pent-up demand.

For more information visit www.indaba-southafrica.co.za