eventsIndabaSouth AfricaSouth African Tourismtrade show By Kate Webster at Indaba 2018Africa’s Tourism Indaba trade exhibition began last week in Durban, South Africa, attracting around 7000 delegates from around the world. Owned and managed by South African Tourism, Africa’s Travel Indaba has established itself as the world’s leading African tourism trade show. This year’s event was held from Tuesday 8 May to Thursday 10 May at the Durban Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre. DurbanOpening the event was Tourism Minister Derek Hanekon, with the clear message that Africa’s share of the global tourism pie has not yet reached its potential – currently standing at 5 percent – and while this may seem low, Africa’s tourism sector grew at 1 percent above the average global travel figures. A record 62 million people visited Africa in 2017, representing 8 percent year on year growth.“Africa is all about people with energy and spirit coming together, performing with vibrancy, expressing our culture and history in a most compelling way. And there’s more to come,” Mr Hanekon said.“And to varying degrees, all countries on the continent have the potential for exponential growth, given that arrivals to our vast continent represent only 5 percent of global tourists.”Derek HanekomSouth Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa identified tourism as one of three priority sectors, and in his first State of the Nation address in February 2018 said “… we will enhance support for destination marketing in key tourism markets and take further measures to reduce regulatory barriers and develop emerging tourism businesses.” Buyers attending Indaba were told that they have access to the biggest variety of products on the continent, from not only South Africa’s hidden gems but including luxury experiences across Africa. Media has been encouraged to portray the reality of Africa with all its challenges, including the story of how tourism is changing the continent and benefitting its people.During the opening of Indaba British Airways announced that it will add a three times weekly non-stop flight from London Heathrow to Durban at the end of October 2018, augmenting the airline’s twice-daily service from Heathrow to Johannesburg and daily to Cape Town.The new Durban route is expected to enhance Durban’s efforts of attracting visitors and investors from the UK and European markets.