Africa’s Travel Indaba 2017 Highlights

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INDABA’s meaty Media Conversations were a popular part of the programme at this year’s trade show.

Andile Khumalo, presenter of Power Business, explored the opportunities and risks for South Africa and the continent’s tourism industry in a meaty conversation with the media, stakeholders, and INDABA delegates in the first Media Conversation for 2017. The talk was broadcast live on Power FM, with four influential panellists sharing their insights: Thabi Leoka, Economic Strategist at Argon Asset Management; Mmatšatši Ramawela, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of SA; Alan Mukoki, CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and the South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona.

Tourism Indaba 2017

Khumalo opened the talk by addressing the ‘elephant in the room’ – South Africa’s recent credit downgrade to ‘junk’ status, and what that means for tourism. According to Leoka, the Rand has not weakened in the same way that currency in other downgraded countries have because fortunately, it took place during a time of global uncertainty in developed countries like the USA and United Kingdom. This in turn attracted investors looking for high returns in high risk regions. Where we do see the impact of the downgrade, however, is in South African society: a rise in protests, inflation, and political uncertainty – and this is what poses a real risk to both tourism and international investment.

Despite this, things are looking positive for tourism. Leoka stressed the importance of identifying industries that support the tourism sector and investing in these businesses, which will in turn, feed into tourism growth. “We need to be creative and take advantage of this status,” she said, adding that South Africa can avoid a recession if we identify these opportunities that can assist the local economy.

Continue reading the INDABA 2017 highlights in this month’s issue:

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