INDABA 2011, Africa's biggest travel and tourism show, opened in Durban on Friday, May 7, with a major focus on highlighting the country’s increasingly global status as a major tourism destination.
This year’s theme for INDABA is "Playing globally, winning locally," which, according to tourism officials, encapsulates the ideals of shared and inclusive growth and job creation in the South African tourism sector, to be achieved by establishing a strong international presence in support of becoming a global player.
Recently, the South African Ministry of Tourism announced National Tourism Sector Strategy targets: They aim to increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to 15 million and the number of domestic trips to 50 million, increase tourism's contribution to the GDP from an estimated R189.4 billion in 2009 to R499 billion and aim to create 225 000 new tourism jobs by 2020.
Nearly 3,000 international hosted buyers and visitors are attending INDABA 2011, and South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk stressed that it remained Africa's most important tourism and business networking gathering, with the thousands of meetings take place expected to generate millions of rands into the tourism economy.
"International tourism arrivals to South Africa grew by 15.1 percent in 2010, with the undoubted tourism highlight being our country's successful hosting of the World Cup. We are ready to turn this new potential into long term, sustainable growth," said Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk at the INDABA Opening Ceremony.
"The ball is in our court to take our existing achievements to new heights. We have to take hands to leverage the strength and depth of our industry. We will not be able to achieve our vision for the next decade if we do not embark on this journey together," he added.
South African Tourism is currently launching the heart of the second phase of its global marketing and advertising campaign, "20 Experiences in 10 Days". The campaign, which launched internationally at INDABA, is set to showcase the destination to 1 billion people in more than 600 million households in the next financial year on television commercials, print media and online. It features the authentic experiences in South Africa of couples and friends from China, Brazil, Angola and Germany—the country’s key core and emerging markets.
Additional global tourism campaigns for South Africa this year include the continuation of the National Geographic Adventurers Wanted campaign, aimed at entrenching South Africa's leadership as an adventure destination in seven key markets (Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the UK), as well as a new Sho't Left Campaign encouraging domestic travel by South Africans.