SMEs will form larger part of this years’ Tourism Indaba!

Melting pot. The annual Tourism Indaba will be the hive of activities that begins in Durban at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Int’l Convention Center from May 7 to 9.

This years’ gathering will for the first time, introduce Hidden Gems Zone built to showcase products and services from over 70 South African Small Medium and Macro Enterprises.

At the heart of it all: accessing funding.

It is scheduled from May 7 to 9 at the international Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Center.

There will be workshops facilitated to provide knowledge and tools on how to access the market and grow their businesses in the country and internationally.

Those fortunate SMMEs will exhibit their uniqueness and authentic representation of South Africa as a destination. Of these, 20 focus on the adventure experience that the country offers.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, CEO’s, provincial agencies/authorities, tourism departments, commentators, politicians and media will form part of the three-day gathering.

In addition to the workshops provided for these SMMEs, SA Tourism is bringing 150 local hosted buyers who will meet with the SMMEs and have further opportunity at a SMME networking event on Sunday, to consolidate relations and business.

SMMEs contribute over billions into the GDP of the country and tourism plays a major role in fostering that.

Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP), a Non Profit Company, which facilitates the growth, development and sustainability of small tourism businesses, Tourism Incentive Programme (TIP), Industrial Development Corporation and others, will engage with SMEs on how to access the most fundamental tool of starting a business: funding, the bone of contention.

On Sunday a media talk will be facilitated by Power FM presenter Andile Khumalo and comprise of Dr Salifou Siddo, CEO: Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP); Mmatšatši Ramawela, CEO: Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and Mike Mabuyakhulu, MEC: Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs–KZN.

The discussion will be centred on economics of tourism, examine the question of how tourism businesses impact on local communities, and what government policies, processes and projects are currently in place to ensure the empowerment, development and the growth of small businesses, among others.

Of concern, is that over 140 exhibitors have been registered to attend this year, a depreciation from 1800 in 2012 and 1200 in 2014, respectively.

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Karabo MOLOI

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