JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – It’s all systems go for the Gauteng Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Tourism Indaba, which will be held at the Kliptown Conference Centre in Soweto on Monday February 29 and Tuesday March 1.
A partnership between the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) and Joburg Tourism, the trade show is aimed at creating opportunities for emerging tourism businesses to tap into the inbound tourism market.
Laura Vercueil, of Joburg Tourism, the City of Johannesburg’s tourism entity, says about 200 delegates are expected to attend the two-day indaba, which will also see SMMEs exhibiting their products and services to attract the international tourism market through local tour operators.
Apart from sessions on mentoring, trade, marketing and debate around transformation in tourism, the programme will include site visits to Soweto, Alexandra, Newtown, Fordsburg and Sophiatown. A finance workshop has also been scheduled.
In a letter to industry players, SATSA Chief Executive Officer David Frost said he was confident the indaba would help push the industry’s transformation agenda.
“It’s incumbent on all of us to look for innovative ways to bring people and businesspeople of colour into the mainstream of tourism,” he said.
“The way SMMEs have traditionally been showcased in South Africa has been suboptimal. SATSA has the ability to directly link smaller players with established inbound operators, which represents a more holistic and meaningful approach to industry transformation.”
The indaba forms part of the Gauteng Provincial Government’s drive to rejuvenate township economies.
As part of the project, 60 SMMEs have been canvassed and are already involved in various product development initiatives.
“We look forward to hosting this first-of-its-kind event and making a meaningful impact on economic and transformation goals for the public and private sector,” said Frost.
“The aim of the show is to introduce inbound tourism and trade to carefully selected and prepared emerging tourism businesses. To ensure meaningful interaction, a programme that focuses on speed marketing and includes a robust transformation debate has been developed.”