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Government and industry leaders from across South Africa joined together at the International Convention Centre in Durban on Tuesday morning local time to officially open Travel Indaba 2024.

Any questions regarding how politicians would handle the topic of crime – which has become the biggest issue for not just the travel industry, but for locals in South Africa – were answered within just a few short sentences with a strong commitment from all to battle criminal activity both in Durban and other areas of the country.

With South Africa’s election just over two weeks away, crime and safety have been front and centre in all political coverage in the lead up to voting day.

The wise move to mention crime at the beginning of Indaba put officials on the front foot going into the event which is worth millions to the local economy.

Last year’s Travel Indaba was estimated to have brought in at R408.6 million (A$33.5m) . An additional R7776.4 million (A$638m) was projected to be generated through indirect activity related to the conference.

Its also esmitated that Indaba 2023 resulted in the creation or sustainment of around 2295 jobs, with 1374 of those linked directly to the event.

For every R1 of expenditure an additional R2.90 of income was generated in the South African economy.

8688 People attended Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023 of which 31% were international visitors, 59% were domestic overnight visitors and 10% were eThekwini Municipality residents. That was an overall increase of 57.4% on 2023.

Indaba 2024 continues throughout this week.