By Daniel Chigundu
SOUTHAfrica’s elections scheduled for May this year have forced the postponement of the Africa Travel Indaba to a later date.
According to South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, elections will be held on the 8th of May which directly affects Africa Travel Indaba which had been pegged for the 6th to the 9thof May.
South Africa Tourism chief executive officer Sisa Ntshona said they will be consulting with stakeholders for a new date.
“We are currently exploring all viable alternative options in light of the announcement of the election date.
“We also need to consult with our various partners and stakeholders, and appreciate the understanding of our buyers, exhibitors and delegates who will now await a new date to attend Indaba,” said Ntshona.
Zimbabwe which is working flat-out to lure tourists through its marketing and branding strategy is also scheduled to attend the Indaba to advertise tourism opportunities.
Since the coming in of the new dispensation in 2017, government has declared that the country is open for business including in the tourism sector where some investors have already started benefitting.
Tourism has been identified as one of the key pillars of economic revival together with manufacturing, mining and agriculture.
Experts have even gone further to say tourism is one of the country’s low hanging fruits with quick wins if effectively supported and it attends international tourism fairs among other things.
Meanwhile, Tourism Business Council of South Africa chief executive officer Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa reassured the stakeholders that despite being rescheduled to a later date that will be announced in due course, the indaba will still be a fantastic show not to be missed.
“With dates confirmed upfront, buyers and exhibitors would have planned around the original date. “There are also other global shows during this period, but we would like to reassure the industry that, despite the new date, Indaba will still be a fantastic show to attend and would like to encourage you to attend once the new date is confirmed,” Tshivhengwa said.