We arrived a day before the start of what is widely regarded as one of Africa’s top travel and tourism shows, and our busy week kicked off with a first for Flow: live coverage of Digital Symposium 2017, an initiative run by Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with tourism-networking and influencer organisation Travel Massive.
Dubbed #DigiSym2017, the interactive event provided a platform for digital content and marketing experts to share advice and insights.
The event was a success – with #DigiSym2017 trending on Twitter, where the day’s insights were shared with those following the hashtag. The discussions certainly set a benchmark for future digital symposiums, the next of which will form part of the new-format Africa's Tourism INDABA in 2018.
Following #DigiSym2017, Flowstars switched to a new hashtag – #INDABA2017 – as day one of INDABA, one of Africa’s largest annual tourism marketing events, kicked off. As in the past, Flow attended INDABA to cover the event live on behalf of clients, including GTA, the Northern Cape Tourism Authority and Mango.
After a multicultural opening featuring singing and traditional dance, President Jacob Zuma officially opened INDABA2017. Here is a video of the President’s opening speech:
The first day was filled with interesting meetings and networking, interviews and interactions.
Reflecting on day one of his first Indaba, Flowstar Nick Jackson said, “I’ve heard so much about INDABA and it was great to be a part of it – to see how big it actually is, and how Africa-focused the event is.”
By day two of INDABA, Durban was drying out, with the sun slowly poking through the clouds. The day’s hashtag focus was #WeDoTourism – a new campaign spearheaded by the Department of Tourism and launched by Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa on the Tuesday evening. The initiative aims to get every South African to contribute to the industry and ultimately grow it.
On the evening of day two, Flowstars Roshni Nana and Camilla Kohlmeyer attended another successful GTA event, which showcased Gauteng and events in the province to potential buyers.
GTA chief executive officer Siphiwe Ngwenya addressed the gathering, saying that events such as INDABA showcased what GTA had to offer as a South African destination. He stressed the importance of tourism and how it created jobs.
“Tourism creates jobs. Gauteng is a gateway into Africa and South Africa – we have great economic opportunity,” says Ngwenya. #GPLifestyle— Visit Gauteng (@visitgauteng) May 17, 2017
“The third and final day of Indaba rolled around quicker than I could have imagined. Time flies when you’re having fun,” said Camilla. “I was a little sad that it was coming to an end – I learned so much about the industry and its importance in our economy.”
A highlight of the last day was the big announcement that INDABA would be rebranded as Africa’s Travel Indaba for the next five years, in recognition of the growing number of countries on the continent taking part.
“For me, the tweet below sums up Indaba,” said Roshni. “We live in the most beautiful country, and to be a part of INDABA is truly something special.”