Durban ICC, CEO Lindiwe Rakharebe say, “The signature venue for Africa’s Travel Indaba is waiting to warmly welcome thousands of delegates.”
Durban’s award-winning Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre is all spruced up and ready to host Africa’s Travel Indaba after a two-year respite. The over 112 000-square metre Durban ICC, incorporating the Durban ICC Arena and Durban Exhibition Centre, will be transformed into an exhibitor’s playground when the Indaba, which is the largest tourism marketing event on the African calendar, runs from 2 to 5 May 2022.
Given Durban’s excellent weather and convenience for connectivity, the Durban ICC, an icon of sophistication, class, innovation, service excellence, and versatility, has been the venue for the tourism expo for more than two decades.
Durban ICC Chief Executive Officer Lindiwe Rakharebe said Africa’s Travel Indaba is a great showcase of the diverse tourism products South Africa and the continent has to offer and brings together local and international stakeholders in the tourism sector. A face-to-face Indaba will allow the Durban ICC to continue making its valuable contribution to the economy, providing employment and sustaining many livelihoods in the tourism sector’s broad value chain, she said.
“While the Durban ICC was affected due to COVID-19, we embraced the opportunity to renew, renovate and refresh our facilities. “We have extended the reliability of our infrastructure and assets, including refurbishing essential lifts and replacing non-compliant air-conditioning systems with ozone-friendly units.
“We are excited to welcome Indaba delegates. The Durban ICC has entrenched itself as the signature venue for Africa’s Travel Indaba and we are waiting to warmly welcome thousands of delegates who will engage in business and secure deals. “An event of this magnitude has huge economic spin offs for the tourism industry and associated businesses, including Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal,” she said.
Durban ICC has hosted important global conventions, including, among others, the World Economic Forum on Africa, 21st International AIDS Convention, COP17/21, Tourism Indaba, 4th BRICS International Competition Convention, 14th World Forestry Congress, Africa Peace Awards, 21st World Routes Development Forum, 3rd World Social Science Forum (WSSF), Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture Africa 2015 and transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU).
The Durban ICC took the coveted award for being Africa’s leading convention venue for a second time last year, after winning in 2020, and was also adjudged South Africa’s Best Convention Centre 2021 at the World MICE Awards.
The World MICE Awards is a global initiative to recognize and reward excellence in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry and the results follow a year-long search for the world’s leading MICE brands. “Winning awards is a visible demonstration of all the behind-the-scenes hard work from the Durban ICC teams and people whose principal focus is to continuously provide world-class customer service to clients, both local and international.
“It is for this reason that the close-knit team strives to maintain the Durban ICC strong inherent culture of warmth and hospitality that we are known for and strives to ensure that each guest leaves the Durban ICC happy and satisfied with the service received,” said Rakharebe.
In September, Rakharebe added another trophy to Durban ICC’s impressive collection of silver, when she won the Venue Representative of the Year category of the seventh Women in MICE Awards. The award was given to “the woman who has ensured the highest standards of guest and staff well-being by moving swiftly to implement measures that not only meet all requirements but exceed them”. Rakharebe said the Durban ICC is poised to further evolve into one of the world’s top 10 global meeting facilities. The next evolutionary growth cycle will usher in a series of revolutionary and innovative strategies.
“Having led the African continent for more than two decades of hosting the world, the Durban ICC will now usher in the highest level of technologically advanced meeting facilities. Leadership in service and technology will continue to be the hallmark of our performance excellence,” she added.