Zuma opens Travel Indaba 2017, urges Africa to live up to potential

Indaba 2017 Hospitality industry gathers in South Africa

South African president Jacob Zuma opens Indaba

During his opening speech at the 2017 installment of the Tourism Indaba, President Jacob Zuma highlighted several important issues for the tourism industry in South Africa and on the continent of Africa.

SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma said today his government is set to achieve a 30% black ownership of the white-dominated tourism industry as part of the country's radical economic transformation programme.

President Jacob Zuma made the announcement when he opened this year's Indaba - one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar - at Durban's International Convention Centre yesterday.

Tourism authorities believe the weaker exchange rate may help lure global travellers to South Africa and away from more expensive holiday destinations.

Zuma congratulated Durban saying, "I trust the City will continue utilizing this platform in a strategic way to expose more hidden local-owned offerings through this Indaba". Zuma said Africans must explore their continent and commended a South African travel blogger‚ Katchie Nzama‚ who is about to embark on her second journey across the continent. An opportunity that KZN won after a successful bid to the South African Tourism board. "We look forward to building on a strong partnership with Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to reinforce Africa Travel Indaba's status as a premier African trade show committed to promoting and growing tourism on the continent".

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Zuma said they were planning to build a railway for the fastest train connecting all the Africa cities, which is aimed at promoting regional tourism. "This week we bring Africa and the world together".

In the spirit of growing and developing the African continent, the tourism indaba invited among global guests, 21 African countries to showcase the best of the tourism sector in their backyards.

Zuma also says tourism is now responsible for 1.5 million jobs and they plan to grow employment in the sector to over 2.5 million by 2025.

Renowned as one of the top three travel events in the world, the event is expected to generate an estimated R500 million in economic impact for the City and Province over the next five years. This year over 7,000 delegates are attending the event.

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