Tourism INDABA 2009 countdown begins


The countdown to INDABA has started and attendee numbers promise to eclipse last year’s record-setting global travel trade, media, and exhibitor attendance. This is in spite of an international market subdued by the global economic crisis and the new flu virus outbreak in Mexico.

With little more than a week to go to INDABA (opening on May 9 at the Durban International Convention Centre), anticipation and excitement is building up to this event that some have called “the most important INDABA ever.”

This year, the global industry focuses its attention firmly on the 2010 FIFA World CupTM and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, two huge global events that along with others (such as the Indian Premier League, the ICC Champions Trophy, and the British Lions Tour) puts the South African travel and tourism industry in an enviable, and potentially enormously lucrative, position.

There will be five percent more journalists (551 in total so far) at INDABA this year, with 204 of those confirmed media attendees coming from countries abroad. Exhibitor numbers to date are 1,761 and visitor numbers so far total 3,910. Organizers confidently expect these numbers to grow over the next week as the traditional last-minute applications for INDABA registration come in.

Says Didi Moyle, acting CEO at South African Tourism said: “We are very excited to welcome delegates to INDABA to show that we are ready and waiting to welcome the world, not only to the 2010 football spectacular, but also at other times. We are realistic, though, and recognize that global economies are in recession, and this is certainly having a knock-on effect on the industry, both here at home and elsewhere.”

The outbreak this week of the flu will have no impact on INDABA as health authorities across the world are now aware and capable of managing any flu cases, and South Africa remains relatively unaffected with only one confirmed case of flu (that has been successfully treated) in the Western Cape.

The Department of Health’s flu management plan is already operational across the length and breadth of South Africa and health authorities are on high alert to manage any and all eventualities. The Department of Agriculture has also established that there have been no cases of the flu in pigs in South Africa or in the region.