Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024: Light on Tourism Potential and Enhancements- Travel And Tour World


The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, emphasizes that it’s time for Africa to showcase its full potential to the world.

Mahlalela delivered the keynote address at the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) during Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 (ATI), laying the groundwork for the ATI event scheduled to commence tomorrow and run through Thursday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.

“It is up to us as Africans to open the world’s eyes to what we have to offer as a continent and take charge of the narrative because only when we are proactive, will we control our destiny,” he said.

The Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) presents a diverse range of Africa’s premier tourism offerings, drawing African exhibitors, as well as international and local buyers and media representatives from around the globe.

He said: “There is no opportune time to do that than at Africa’s Travel Indaba, which takes place during May, which significantly, is also Africa Month. Today, we gather not merely as representatives of businesses, but as catalysts of change, and architects of a future defined by co-operation and collective success.”

Mahlalela added that transformation is important, especially in the South African economy for tourism to thrive. “Transformation becomes a necessity in South Africa because there is inequality and poverty,” says Mahlalela. 

Mahlalela further noted that despite existing challenges, progress is evident through the development of small businesses and the promotion of tourist visits to township enterprises.

Following Deputy Minister Mahlalela’s speech, a panel of prominent entrepreneurs engaged in a discussion. South Africa continues to serve as the gateway to the continent.

The CEO of Motsamayi Tourism Group, Jerry Mabena, said the Motsamayi Tourism Group prides itself in building iconic destinations such as the Kruger Shalati – The train on the Bridge and the Nelson Mandela house, where he stayed from 1992 to 1998 in Gauteng, which has been converted into a hotel. 

“We’ve just a finished a camp in Dinokeng, outside of Johannesburg, which is a pop-up hotel. We put it up for four nights and after that we pull it down,” he said. 

South African Tourism CEO, Nombulelo Guliwe, said tourism is a catalyst for job creation and it is important for everyone in the ecosystem to be aware of the role they play. 

She participated as one of the panelists in a discussion titled “Driving Local Economies Through the Tourism Value Chain.”

“Platforms like Africa’s Travel Indaba and other South African Tourism-owned trade shows as well as those we participate in are important for creating an enabling environment for people in the sector to have access to information,” said Guliwe. 

Panelist Zinhle Mqadi, at the helm of Max’s Lifestyle, the uMlazi township shisanyama evolved into an upscale dining establishment, highlighted their partnership with fellow local service providers in both the township and the city. Together, they aim to provide a holistic township tourism experience extending beyond mere visits to a shisanyama.

In the realm of South African property development, Brian Mpono, CEO of Oceans Mhlanga Development, highlighted their involvement with counterparts across the continent. Other African nations have sought their assistance in constructing infrastructure akin to the Oceans Mall in uMhlanga.

During the session on “The Future of Travel Through the Eyes of the Youth,” three young travelers shared their journeys of turning their passion for travel into successful ventures while exploring various corners of the continent.

Acacia Denison and Michael Monk, founders of Yeti the Van, recounted their experiences visiting over 100 campsites across South Africa in their self-converted van, which also serves as their residence.

Monk said they generate income through brand placement. “We offer brands diversity because we are at a new location all the time. We also cover establishments. They pay for us to travel. We put ideas into their heads when we pitch because they might not be thinking about their brands that way,” he said. 

Denison and Monk, who are partners both in travel and in life, have been exploring off the beaten path for the last three years.

Katchie Nzama, a solo adventurer, has ventured through 35 African nations. Her journey commenced as a response to feeling constrained by the corporate world. Setting off on a Cape to Cairo expedition, she hasn’t glanced back in the ten years since.

“The travelling community is huge and people are always excited to meet someone from South Africa. When I arrive in a country, I go to the South African embassy and get emergency contact details and let them know that I am travelling solo. I am a digital content creator and a travel writer,” said Nzama.

During a conversation titled “Advancements in Airlift Across Africa,” Hamish Erskine, CEO of Dube TradePort, reflected on the 14-year trajectory since its establishment in 2006.

He stressed the importance of prioritising cargo transport to sustain operational growth. “Cargo remains the lifeblood of our operations, driving our focus and innovations,” he said.

Mpumi Mpofu, the CEO of Airports Company South Africa, echoed Erskine’s sentiments, underlining the significance of intra-African tourism. “Without robust travel networks within the continent, the potential for growth remains stunted,” she remarked. 

She offered insights into the company’s resilience following the events of 2019, highlighting impressive statistics of 54 million passengers traveling through their global airport network.

She commended the pivotal role played by airports such as OR Tambo International and King Shaka International in driving this expansion.

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This summer, soccer enthusiasts aboard MSC Cruises’ vessels in Europe are in for a treat as they will have the opportunity to catch all the live action of the highly anticipated European soccer cup. This prestigious tournament, featuring twenty-four European nations vying for victory, is held once every four years and is poised to be one of the standout sporting events of the year.

Between June 14 and July 14, matches from the European soccer cup will be broadcasted live on MSC Cruises’ ships sailing in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. With the 2020 final alone garnering over 300 million viewers worldwide, it’s evident that this competition holds immense significance on the global soccer stage.

Guests aboard MSC Cruises will have various options to enjoy the games, from watching in selected bars and lounges to experiencing the thrill of live matches on the pool deck or within the vibrant ambiance of a dedicated sports bar. Moreover, some ships will elevate the experience further by offering a tailored program of tournament-themed activities. These include engaging in table soccer games, participating in penalty shoot-out challenges, testing soccer knowledge in trivia competitions, and even getting creative by designing their own team shirts for a chance to win exciting prizes.

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MSC Cruises is enhancing its footprint at Port Canaveral by introducing a second vessel, enriching the array of 7-night voyages and shorter excursions to The Bahamas. Today, the company disclosed its plans for MSC Grandiosa to commence operations from the Central Florida port in December 2025, joining the beloved MSC Seashore.

The addition of a second vessel at Port Canaveral will significantly broaden the options available to MSC Cruises’ passengers. MSC Grandiosa will present alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean routes, while MSC Seashore will continue to offer 3- and 4-night journeys to Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the company’s exclusive island retreat in The Bahamas.

Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, said: “The Winter 2025-2026 season will mark our largest presence in the U.S. to date, and our expansion at Port Canaveral is a big part of that. Ever since we started sailing from Port Canaveral in 2021, our guests have told us they love how convenient that makes it to experience MSC Cruises’ unique international flavor. We know people sailing from Central Florida want options, and we’re delighted to offer them two of our most modern and glamorous ships with itineraries that will appeal to everyone from first-time to seasoned cruisers.”

Itinerary Highlights:

MSC Grandiosa: 7-Night RoutesEastern Caribbean: Stops at Nassau (The Bahamas), Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve (The Bahamas), Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Charlotte Amalie (US Virgin Islands)Western Caribbean: Visits Nassau (The Bahamas), Cozumel (Mexico), Costa Maya (Mexico), George Town (Cayman Islands), Montego Bay (Jamaica), Falmouth (Jamaica), and Belize City (Belize)MSC Seashore: 3- and 4-Night RoutesStops at Nassau and Ocean Cay, with select itineraries offering an additional day at sea

Capt. John Murray, CEO, Port Canaveral, said: “We are honored that MSC Cruises chose Port Canaveral for the North American debut of their magnificent MSC Grandiosa. We are so proud of our cruise partner and their tremendous growth in the United States. Expanding their homeport fleet at Port Canaveral underscores their confidence in our partnership and shared commitment to success. We look forward to welcoming all of their valued cruise guests to our beautiful port.”

MSC Grandiosa, a flagship of MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia-plus class fleet, is set to make waves as the largest vessel to call Port Canaveral home upon her arrival next year. Boasting a plethora of amenities, here are some standout features:

Extending over 1,094 feet in length and 141 feet in width
Offering 2,421 well-appointed staterooms
Showcasing a culinary journey with 10 distinct restaurants, including the acclaimed Butcher’s Cut steakhouse, Hola! Tacos & Cantina, Kaito Sushi, Kaito Tepanyaki, and L’Atelier Bistrot
Providing ample aquatic delights with five pools and nine inviting hot tubs, along with the exhilarating Wild Forest Aquapark
Elevating the luxury experience with an enhanced MSC Yacht Club and the expansive MSC Aurea Spa
Entertaining guests with a state-of-the-art Broadway-style theater and the mesmerizing Carousel Lounge for nightly performances
Featuring the iconic 323-foot-long Galleria Grandiosa promenade adorned with a stunning LED sky screen

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve:

Nestled in The Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve epitomizes MSC Cruises’ commitment to marine conservation and ecological stewardship. Spread across more than two miles of pristine coastline and encompassing eight breathtaking beaches, this idyllic sanctuary invites guests to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the Bahamas. From sun-soaked shores to crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, Ocean Cay offers endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure alike. Moreover, as part of MSC Foundation’s Super Coral Program, the island serves as a hub for coral reef restoration efforts and conservation initiatives worldwide.

In the coming months, MSC Cruises will unveil a series of enhancements to Ocean Cay, including expanded excursion centers, additional dining options, and upgraded swimming areas. For MSC Yacht Club guests, the experience will be further elevated with an expanded Ocean House bar and restaurant, ensuring unparalleled luxury and comfort throughout their voyage.

MSC Yacht Club:

For discerning travelers seeking the epitome of luxury, the MSC Yacht Club delivers an exclusive haven aboard every sailing from Port Canaveral. With personalized services, lavish suite accommodations, and private facilities such as a dedicated pool and sundeck, guests are pampered from the moment they embark. Whether indulging in gourmet dining, unwinding in stylish lounges, or enjoying access to the ship’s myriad of amenities, the MSC Yacht Club promises an unparalleled level of relaxation and rejuvenation throughout the journey.

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Amadeus partners with Navan, propelling global travel management expansion through innovative technology solutions.

Amadeus has strengthened its collaboration with Navan, a rapidly expanding global travel management company (TMC). As a premier global travel technology provider, Amadeus will support Navan in expanding its content offerings, improving customer services, and accelerating its rapid growth.

Navan is integrating a wide array of solutions powered by Amadeus Web Services across its global operations. These API-powered solutions seamlessly integrate Amadeus’ extensive content, including robust airline NDC content, and provide end-to-end workflow capabilities within Navan’s travel management applications.

“Navan is the next generation of user-centric travel management software, and we see Amadeus as an important partner to best support our global operations,” said Fred Stratford, Executive Vice President at Navan Group and CEO of Reed & Mackay. “Our expanded relationship with Amadeus will accelerate our growth, not just in the United States, but worldwide.” 

Navan has solidified its position in the TMC market through the acquisitions of Reed & Mackay, Resia, Comtravo, Atlanta Events, and Tripeur in recent years. With a presence in 19 countries and inventory and travel support in over 100 countries, Navan is now shifting its focus to organic growth.

As a global technology leader in the travel ecosystem, Amadeus is ideally suited to support this goal. Amadeus’ open systems and cloud-enabled technology provide Navan with high performance, security, reliability, and stability, which are essential for sustaining its rapid growth and ongoing global expansion.

Rajiv Rajian, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Americas, Travel Unit, Amadeus, said, “There is a great deal of synergy between Amadeus and rapidly growing Navan. We both work to enable human connections by building end-to-end journeys that make the travel experience better. Our extensive end-to-end workflow solutions are designed to help our customers increase efficiency, drive revenue, and deliver an exceptional level of service.  We are pleased to expand our relationship with Navan to support its continued success.” 

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Marking its 35th year, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will highlight the future of regional aviation at Caribbean Week, which will take place from June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square, located in midtown Manhattan.

The event, themed “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity,” will offer a range of activities focused on innovation and enhancing connections.

One of the central highlights is the Caribbean Airlift Forum, a vital platform for travel industry professionals, journalists, and members of the Caribbean Diaspora to explore air transportation challenges and prospects in the Caribbean.

Rosa Harris, CTO Board of Directors Chairman and the spokesperson for the event, will lead the forum. She pointed out the significance of the discussions, which will delve into topics such as new air routes, competitiveness in aviation, collaborative partnerships, investment in infrastructure, regulatory policies, and strategies for market demand. These discussions aim to improve dialogues between airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, thereby increasing connectivity and access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

Additionally, the week will feature a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions that will address topics like artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

Supported by main sponsor the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, along with gold sponsors the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, and with contributions from Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is set to be an essential gathering for tourism experts and stakeholders from the region and the Diaspora.

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Recent data has unveiled the top European cities most favored by TikTok users, with Paris securing the third position. Drawing from statistics provided by Statista, marketing analysts at Upbeat Agency meticulously examined the TikTok view counts for each city within the top ten.

Barcelona emerges as the leading European city on TikTok, boasting an impressive 106.1 billion views. The vibrant Spanish capital’s premier tourist destination, Park Guell, welcomed 4.66 million visitors in 2022. Notably, FC Barcelona, a globally renowned football club, garners significant attention on TikTok, featured in 2.4 million posts bearing its hashtag.

Following closely is London, ranking second with 68.6 billion views. The British capital’s iconic British Museum stood as the most frequented attraction in 2023, drawing 5.8 million visitors. Soho claims the title of London’s most TikTok-worthy locale, boasting 132,100 posts.

Paris secures the third spot with 64.8 billion views. In 2023, the Louvre Museum, Paris’ premier attraction, welcomed 8.9 million visitors and starred in 91,100 TikTok videos.

Istanbul clinches the fourth position with 53.1 billion views. Turkey’s bustling metropolis, the world’s most visited city in 2023, greeted 20.2 million visitors. The illustrious Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, a beloved tourist landmark, is featured in 28,400 TikTok posts.

RankEuropean CityNumber of Views (billions)1Barcelona, Spain106.12London, UK68.63Paris, France64.84Istanbul, Turkey53.15Madrid, Spain32.66Berlin, Germany26.17Ankara, Turkey23.08Milan, Italy13.69Hamburg, Germany12.110Manchester, UK10.1

Madrid claims the fifth spot as one of the most ‘TikTokable’ cities, amassing a whopping 32.6 billion views. Among its famed locales, Gran Via stands out, with a staggering 25,200 TikTok posts featuring this bustling area.

Berlin follows in sixth place, boasting 26.1 billion views. The iconic Brandenburg Gate steals the spotlight on TikTok, gracing the platform with 1,089 posts. Ankara secures the seventh position with 23.0 billion views, prominently featuring Ankara Castle in 115 posts.

In eighth place stands Milan, with 13.6 billion views. The majestic Duomo di Milano cathedral steals hearts on TikTok, appearing in 41,500 posts. Hamburg clinches the penultimate spot with 12.1 billion views. Its Miniatur Wunderland captures imaginations, starring in 3,758 posts.

Bringing up the rear is Manchester, boasting 10.1 billion views. Reverberating with football fervor, the city showcases its iconic stadiums. The Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford take center stage, with Manchester City’s grounds featuring in 21,400 posts and Manchester United’s grounds in a staggering 123,800 posts.

Jordan Bucknell, CEO of Upbeat Agency, commented on the findings:  

“The fact that these are the European cities being tagged in the most TikTok posts pays testament to how vibrant and full of interest and life these cities are. 

“There is plenty of history, beauty and fun to be experienced, which is taken advantage of by influencers and travel bloggers to create engaging content. 

“The use of TikTok to create positive content featuring these cities is great promotion and publicity for the cities by highlighting some of the most popular areas as well as smaller, less tourist-focused areas.” 

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Owning a dream vacation home in Greece and securing a Golden Visa with Permanent Residency is about to become pricier for everyone starting August 31, 2024. In September, the Greek government will enact new legislation that will double the minimum investment required for international citizens to acquire real estate in Greece.

Leptos Estates, a leading real estate and property development company specializing in residential, commercial, and holiday properties, including upscale apartments and luxury villas in Greece and Cyprus, is extending an invitation to affluent individuals and investors from India to act promptly and make their property investments in Greece before the regulations change later this year.

In recent years, Greece’s Golden Visa Programme, launched in 2013, has experienced a surge in popularity and demand, prompting the Greek government to reconsider the investment thresholds for real estate and Permanent Residency.

Under the new regulations expected to take effect on August 31, 2024, Greece’s Golden Visa Program will introduce two minimum investment tiers for real estate transactions in the country. In Tier I, encompassing sought-after areas like Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, and the islands, the minimum investment is projected to increase to €800,000 from the current €500,000. Meanwhile, in Tier II, covering all other regions of Greece, the entry point will rise to €400,000 from the current €250,000.

“As the deadline approaches, prices are expected to surge, potentially making the dream of owning a Greek home less attainable for Indian investors. We urge high net-worth individuals and investors to grab this unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure Permanent Residency in Greece while enjoying the chance to make promising returns on their investment at a minimum cost of an affordable €250,000. Once the new rules come into effect, the cost will double, and it will be a great chance missed. We have some aesthetically and sustainably designed, fully functional apartments and villas across Greece and in regions like Paros Crete, and Santorini that would make great homes for global citizens,” said Sanjay Sachdev, Group Marketing Director, Leptos Estates.

Investors still have the opportunity to apply under the current €250,000 minimum threshold by making a 10% deposit before August 31, 2024, and completing the investment by December 31, 2024.

Owning both a home and obtaining Permanent Residency in one of the world’s oldest civilizations offers numerous advantages. These include visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen area, substantial returns from Greece’s thriving real estate market, delightful year-round weather, and the opportunity to immerse oneself in the charming Mediterranean culture.

The Residency extends to the entire family, including the spouse, children under 21 years old, and the parents of the main applicant and spouse, with the added possibility of applying for citizenship.

Foreign property owners in Greece are not obligated to reside in the country, and residency permits can be obtained within six months. Moreover, owners have the flexibility to rent out their investment property if desired.

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