KwaZulu-Natal hosts Travel Agents’ Federations of India Convention

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is ready to host the Travel Agents’ Federations of India (TAFI) Convention to be held in Durban from 24-27 February 2013. The TAFI Executive Committee is in KZN for the last recess to ensure that the province is well prepared for one of the biggest travel trade conventions to be held in the city. This convention is hosted in partnership with the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA).

The TAFI Executives arrived in KZN on Sunday, 3 February, to conduct site inspections at uShaka Marine World, the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the International Convention Centre (ICC), where they will also sample the food that will be served to delegates during the convention and related events. Furthermore, they will be meeting with partners from Tsogo Sun, Durban Tourism, Trade and Investment KZN, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN), the Indian consulate and the MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu.

This annual convention will bring close to nine hundred delegates from India to the province. They will have an opportunity to explore and sample tourism products and attractions of KZN with the intention of packaging and selling the destination to their clients in India.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) projects that within 10 years, an estimated 70% of the world’s travellers will come from the East. The TAFI Convention will be a great platform to educate the travel trade about the KZN tourism products that will be in demand by the Indian market, and to create new packages and itineraries featuring KZN. This will also be a great opportunity for the local tourism trade to create business-to-business partnerships and linkages with the travel trade from India, who will give them access to this high volume tourism growth market.

South African Tourism (SAT) has identified the Indian market as a rapidly growing market for South Africa. India is one of the few markets that have recorded a growth of 26% in arrivals in South Africa year on year since 2010.

India provides a great opportunity to grow the Durban/Dubai Emirates route that flies daily to KZN, with 185 flights a week landing in Dubai from 10 destinations in India.

The BRICS countries’ formation qualifies India as an important and strategic market for South Africa and KZN, with a prospective for developing a route between India and Durban.

“The fact that the BRICS Summit will be hosted a month after the TAFI Convention, gives us confidence that this will definitely go a long way in growing tourist numbers from India,” says Mr Ndabo Khoza, Chief Executive Officer of TKZN.

“The delegates of TAFI will also be engaging in pre and post tours that will see them sampling a variety of our products, ranging from game viewing in Hluhluwe to indulging in our spa and golfing facilities across the province. It is without doubt that the TAFI delegates will return home with KZN as a top-of-mind destination for them to bring more of their clients to our shores,” continued Mr Khoza.

TAFI and SATSA have also signed an ‘Enhanced Value Package’ agreement that will ensure that relationships between the two countries continue beyond the convention. This package will see local entities such as the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and TKZN hosting hoteliers, travel media, members of the Chambers of Commerce and the film fraternity from Bollywood, in order to position KZN as a key destination for investment, tourism and film in the Indian market.

This year’s convention themed “Navigating the Future” pays tribute to the changes and development in the travel industry and the province of KZN intends to be in the forefront of that change in the future.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You’re also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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