EC tourism makes impression at Durban indaba

Small Eastern Cape tourism outfits made their mark and sealed some deals at the annual Tourism Indaba for first-time exhibitors in Durban this week.

COMMON GROUND: Interested parties at the Tourism Indaba held in Durban Picture: MBALI TANANA

Ten small or medium enterprises were selected from each province to sell their products as part of a “hidden gems” campaign.

Arts Versatile managing director Litha Ncokazi of Buffalo City, who made his debut at the indaba, said they had attracted international and local buyers.

“We have started on a very good note thanks to the support of South African Tourism, ECDC and ECPTA, who have mentored and facilitated us to be here.”

Ncokazi, a fine arts lecturer at WSU who specialises in ceramics, has been selling his artefacts at pop-up exhibitions in East London.

“We are now selling ourselves as a tourist destination, offering packages which consist of story telling, walkabouts and ceramic objects as memorabilia.

“Our products are putting Buffalo City on the map,” he said.

Park Place Boutique Guest House owner Lizelle Maurice commended the speed marketing service initiatives by SA Tourism.

“It’s something new and its so exciting, because it has forced about 47 buyers to engage with the 90 products from around the country for about three minutes each.

“Appointments were made and some deals were sealed, which is good for business,” she said.

Addo Wildlife director Jannie Gie said technology had made business and integration much easier. “Everything was orchestrated so well, connecting buyers and exhibitors and coordinating meetings at convenient times for both,” she said.

The Indaba concluded with glitzy ceremonies honouring women in tourism last night. —