SOUTH AFRICAN ELECTION DATE FORCES INDABA OFF SCHEDULE
(Posted 08th February 2019)
(Not the welcome exhibitors and the tourism trade expected for 2019 when news broke that this year’s edition has been postponed due to upcoming elections)
The announcement yesterday in South Africa that the upcoming elections will be held on the 08th of May has immediately prompted major fallout for the country’s tourism industry.
Indaba, one of South Africa’s main tourism trade shows, was scheduled to be held from the 06th of May until the 09th of May but with the election date set for the 08th of May must Indaba give way.
Exhibitors and the tourism trade from abroad, especially those with booked flights on special conditions, i.e. non refundable tickets, will be left hanging to count their losses. ‘Whatever dates they will set, for me it will be almost impossible to change my travel plans if the new dates clash with other trade shows or prescheduled trips. This is mildly put a disaster of the highest order for the organizers and will come back to haunt them. I am looking for alternatives now to meet the South African market but the way things are, it will cost me a lot of money to rebook my ticket, if at all the airline will agree‘ ranted a regular source from Kenya, when the news were starting to circulate more widely.
Yet others complained about having arranged for Visa and accommodation with non refundable deposits already paid, again wondering what hit them.
Other sources blame the government for totally ignoring such a hugely important tourism trade show – given how much South Africa depends on their tourism income – and pointing fingers at the President’s advisors for failing to take the date clash into account.
With the damage now done are competing tourism trade shows already stepping up their marketing and have moved into a hard sell mode to, wherever possible, bring the tourism industry from Africa into their halls.