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05-14-2012Indaba Tourism Trade Show, Durban, South Africa

Southern Sky Adventures: 05-14-2012Indaba Tourism Trade Show, Durban, South Africa

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back into South Africa for the Indaba Tourism Trade Show for southern and East Africa this year after a one year hiatus. Started coming here almost 10 years ago and this show has grown a good bit since my first arrival.

A decade ago I was asked on a regular basis why more American tour operators did not show up here for the biggest trade show in all of Africa. Now, there are plenty of American suppliers here, as well as representatives from Asia and some from South America. The European agents have always supplied the largest contingent of outbound operators.

The show has only gotten better and better, larger and larger. When I first arrived there was not a lot of representation outside of South African properties and offerings. There is now an added wing just for East Africa where the representation from Kenya and Tanzania has showed the largest growth. Add this fact to more showings from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique as well as the Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius, the Seychelles, Zanzibar and Madagascar and my attendance here has become more and more instructive and helpful.

Most of my time spent here has been meeting with safari and hotel suppliers, understanding their offerings and lining up times in which to pay them a visit to see for myself. Tomorrow I am off to the Isibindi properties spread out along the Indian Ocean coast up to the Mozambique border. One spot at Thonga Beach is right at the border and I would like to see how this property will fit into an option for South African bound guests wanting a beach visit when the weather is not as favorable in Cape Town in winter.

Good time seeing plenty of people I have known in the industry for a long time. The wineries are well represented here and they are starting to have attendees sample their product by about 4PM so the event is plenty full of pleasure.

Staying up on the north beach again at the Blue Waters Hotel. The access to the beach is very good and I’ve been staying here each year. Heading out to the beach for an AM run before the show is a mighty good start to the day.

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