INDABA is a useful platform to promote tourism and through it Tanzania gets the opportunity to sell its tourist attractions which add up to the increase of the nation's economy.
This was said by the Marketing Director of Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Devota Mdachi, who attended the three day tourist fair in Durban.
The three day productive networking opportunity and trade show went under the theme 'Plugging into Africa's Growth.'
Ms Mdachi said Tanzania has participated in the trade show since 1999 where only over 10 companies attended then. Currently over 38 companies showcase their business and selling Tanzania in general.
She added that with more than 100 representatives from Tanzania this year, the tourist sector is sure to move forward as new agreements were expected to be made and innovative business ideas created.
Some of Tanzanian companies that exhibited at the Indaba Tourist Show included Leopard Tours Limited, which specialises in safaris to game parks, Tanzania Zara Adventure Tours which owns more than five properties in the northern circuit.
South African Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk speaking at the official opening of the Indaba Tourist exhibition said, "Meeting here as Africans, we recognise that we have to resolve outstanding challenges in travel facilitation.
I am convinced that 20 years from now, history books telling the story of tourism on our continent will describe how a modernised and truly Pan-African Indaba has been as one of those pivots that helped us to take tourism to the next level," he said.
In 1994, total international arrivals to South Africa, including tourist arrivals, stood at a mere 3.6 million.
During our two decades of democracy South Africa has experienced a remarkable change as arrivals have grown by more than 300 per cent to reach nearly 15 million last year, 9.6 million of which were tourist arrivals, he added.
Prior to 1994, he said tourism was a line function with a director and one administrative clerk at a desk in the Department of Trade and Industry. Today, tourism is recognised as one of six core economic drivers in the South Africa's New Growth Path.
South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima, said myths around the destination abound and visitors to South Africa continue to be amazed by what the country has to offer.
With exhibitors showcasing the best in accommodation, tour operators, transport, game lodges, online travel and industry associations, the trade show promised to be a bumper experience, he continued.
"We are especially excited about a brand new addition to Indaba the TechZone that gives travel technology its own home. Providing delegates an opportunity to meet with the biggest names in social media in online travel agents," he said.
The entire African continent is bursting with opportunity. Where the global industry grew about 4,5 percent in 2013, arrival growth to Africa was six per cent.
But Africa still receives a relatively small number of local tourists and Indaba is the best possible platform for African's to increase this number, said Mr Nzima.