Currently, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimates that about 40 percent of all global tourists are people in search of culture and heritage experiences. This number grows steadily all the time making it an extremely potent economic engine providing for a wide range of entrepreneurial opportunities for people in the arts and crafts industries; in the promotion (and protection) of the cultural landscape; in culture festivals and in heritage sites; in design and in a plethora of other leisure tourism experiences and pursuits.
South Africa’s iconic attractions such as Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Apartheid Museum, Soweto’s Vilakazi Street and the wide expanse of the Kruger National Park were huge attractions on the ‘must-do’ list for the well over nine million international tourists who visited South Africa last year.
This country’s beauty, abundant wildlife, fascinating history, and culture are major tourist attractions that have grown globally to become iconic, ‘must do’ places and experiences.
At INDABA 2013, South Africa’s rich heritage and culture tourist offering, and the people and the stories behind these attractions, will be brought into the mainstream of the country’s tourism value proposition with the ‘South Africa Heritage and Culture Pavilion’ making its debut at the show this year.
The INDABA 2013 Heritage and Culture Pavilion will reflect the rich and fascinating way of doing things in South Africa: from a huge tree under which exhibitors and buyers will gather to meet and enjoy a sample of this country’s fantastic food and wine; to work by some of our country’s most celebrated fashion designers and up and coming students, showcasing designs inspired by South Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. South African artists will also be present at the Pavilion, working interactively on pieces inspired by the destination.
The Pavilion is a collaboration between the National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism; in partnership with the Moja Heritage Collection, who have joined forces to make lifestyle, heritage and culture tourism experiences more easily accessible to the global traveller.
A sampling of 20 Moja Heritage Collection products will be represented in the Heritage and Culture Pavilion, which will be located at the Durban Exhibition Centre. The area will importantly be a working space, giving international buyers a place to meet and do business with the cream of South Africa’s heritage and culture tourism products.
The Pavilion will be a celebration of South Africa’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and will epitomise the wealth of lifestyle and culture experiences that South Africa offers. It will give a rich peek into the soul of the destination: its design; food; warm and typically welcoming hospitality; uniquely South African laid back yet elegant sense of style; and its unique heritage and culture attractions that wait to be explored.
It will also bring to vivid, colourful life the mandate of the National Department of Tourism’s Heritage and Culture Strategy, that was launched last year, and which gave the South African travel and tourism industry direction to unlock the immense economic potential of heritage and culture tourism.