Delegates hope Africa Travel Indaba will spark new ideas to grow businesses

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Delegates at the Africa Travel Indaba in Durban say they are hopeful the meeting will spark new ideas to further grow their businesses.

The four-day meeting that began on Tuesday is a working business platform for Africa’s tourism industry to secure deals.

Several African countries are showcasing some of their key tourist attractions and products, in the hope to seal lucrative business deals in Durban ICC.

Andy Owusu-Akyaw of Kuus Travel Services in Ghana is collaborating with the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Board, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, on new audio-visual technology.

The device offers people a virtual experience of the picturesque Drakensberg. Owusu-Akyaw says he would be excited to try the technology for his business as well.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Indaba because it gives you diverse new technology like the one I just experienced now. I am going to add it as part of my things to get into the coming year. Whoever is coming to our resort [and] wants a game drive, I’ll give you a virtual tour before you come and experience it like that yourself. I think it will aid in convincing our customers.”

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Musa Mntambo says the tourism sector is recovering slowly from the global Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s floods.

‘We are promoting the Seven Wonders of the Drakensberg Park which used to be called Ukhahlamba, but now it is Maloti-Drankensberg Park. What we have done we have identified seven wonders if you check maybe on our board there you can see them there is Mike pass, the is Royal Natal there is Injisuthi there are many of them those seven wonders we went there and took some videos and we put them on this it is called metefact which is a 360 degrees video, we are on the mend, Covid did us some damage now bookings are going up, Royal Natal is full maybe up to September in terms of campsites we are very busy.”

Calls for healthy competition

Opening Africa Travel Indaba under this year’s theme “Africa Unlimited” in Durban, Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille says the tourism and hospitality sectors must engage in healthy competition.

“While healthy competition can drive growth and Innovation, unhealthy competition can lead to a race to the bottom, with businesses and destination undercutting each other on price and quality, let us remember that long-term success in the industry depends not only on competing r but also on recognising the value of collaboration and partnership.”

Exhibitors like the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Board and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have put their best foot forward. They hope the new audio-visual technology, giving people a virtual experience of the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains, will attract more eyeballs.

SABC News Leanne Manas takes us to a walkabout inside Africa Travel Indaba: