Tourism Indaba a big hit

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

A Durban entrepreneur has joined the organisers of the Tourism Indaba in hailing the event a huge success.

Oscar Ngcobo had a stall at Africa's biggest yearly tourism and trade fair, rated the third-biggest in the world.

He said he "could not sit down for a minute" in his Gone Rural safari curios stall because of the many customers who flocked to buy his goods.

"The Indaba was a success story for me. I was able to get new contacts, establish a new client base and business was good," he said when the event closed on Tuesday.

The Indaba's success was shared by members of the tourism trade in Eastern Cape. They scooped prizes in the Welcome Awards presentations at the opening of the Indaba at the International Convention Centre on Saturday.

Velile Ndlumbini, of Monti Tours, in Buffalo City, won the award for tourist guides and the grand prize. Tumi Shupinyaneng, of Tumi's in Mdantsane, came tops in the bed and breakfast category.

South Africa's readiness to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup was debated the Global Media Face-Off slot at the Indaba.

The BBC's Hard Talk presenter Tim Sebastian interviewed world cup ambassador Tim Modise, South Africa Tourism chief executive Moeketsi Mosola, the director-general of environmental affairs and tourism Pam Yako, Airports Company chief executive Namhla Hlahla and divisional police commissioner for visible policing Arno Lamoer.