Exhibitors attending the Africa’s Travel Indaba currently underway in Durban say one of the challenges facing township tourism is the high rate of crime.

A number of tourism activities attracting tourists to various local hot spot including Pub and Grills also known as Shisa Nyama are struggling because visitors do not visit them due high rate of crime.

Mmasi Mosikatsana of Basotho Cultural Village in Qwaqwa, Free State, has urged tourists to use recognised travel agencies when they want to visit township to ensure safety.

Mosikatsana says marketing is one of the many challenges they have in selling their products to the world. She says opportunities such as the Indaba give them a platform to advertise and sell their businesses.

The Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom says one of the challenges faced by the tourism industry is the the lack of funding to the emerging businesses.

Hanekom says although the number of people travelling are increasing in the country, economic backlog and marketing remain the main challenge for emerging businesses in the industry.

“When there is an economic down turn people do struggle so it’s about disposable income. The numbers are increasing in terms of the choices that people make to travel rather than visiting friends and family. The other challenge is getting people to South Africa but there is some good news there as there are discussions with the department of home affairs to make it easier for people to get visas to travel,”said Hanekom.

Meanwhile exhibitors from different parts of the continent are optimistic that being part of the Indaba will give them much needed exposure to attract consumers and investors.

62 million out of 1.3 billion tourists worldwide visit Africa

The number of international travelers reached over 1.3 billion last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Yet of these Africa only received 62 million, which is 5% of the world’s tourists. This was revealed at the Africa Travel Indaba in Durban.

Africa’s largest travel trade show is a hive of activity on the second day as exhibitors and buyers discussed new business links.

The Africa’s Travel Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the continent’s calendar and one of the top three events of its kind on the global calendar.

It showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.

There are about 7 000 exhibitors, travel buyers, journalists and tourism industry professionals have converged in the city to explore Africa’s growing tourism economy. Over 10 million international tourists visited South Africa in 2017.

SA tourism contributes to 8% of GDP

The tourism industry contributes more than 8% to the country’s gross domestic product. But the industry is not one without problems. Domestic tourism continues to lag behind.

Hanekom says tourism growth contributes to poverty alleviation. Hanekom says they are determined to attract more visitors in the country.

“1,3 billion people travelled globally in 2017, only 62 million of those tourist came to Africa, which clearly tells us a story, huge potential for growth. Travel and tourism are in fact the fastest growing sector in the world out-performing all other sectors of the global economy. Our strongest selling point that has set us apart from the rest of the world is probably our abandoned wildlife. We are also proud of our own Kruger National Park and any other incredible national parks we have in our country.”

However, with close to two thousand buyers from all over the world attending the Indaba some emerging tour operators say they have already secured some new business.

Child sexual exploitation in Tourism

Delegates at the Africa Conference on Child Protection in Travel and Tourism have called on the African states government to implement protection policies in order to prevent child sexual exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

A research study presented at this conference held on Durban shows that sexual exploitation of children is increasing in Africa.

The conference is being held just ahead of Africa’s biggest travel conference, Tourism Indaba which kicks off tomorrow. The research further reveals that although no country or city globally is immune to this growing trend, children in Africa are most at risk .