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South Africa’s Tourism Indaba 2016, in Durban from 7 to 9 May, will put a firm focus on the industry’s small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

For the first time, a Hidden Gems Zone will showcase products and services from promising small travel businesses. The 70 enterprises will be given workshops on how to access the market – and grow.

“The significant role SMMEs play in the economic development of both developed and developing countries, and in this instance the growth of the tourism sector, is recognised and supported by South African Tourism,” Tourism Indaba said in a statement.

Hosted by South African Tourism, the annual Indaba is the largest tourism marketing event in Africa and one of the top three “must-visit” events of its kind in the world.

The Tourism Enterprise Partnership, a non-profit that works to develop and grow sustainable tourism companies, worked with the Department of Tourism’s Tourism Incentive Programme to identify and fund the 70 small businesses chosen to exhibit.

They were selected for their uniqueness and authentic representation of South Africa as a destination. Twenty of them focus on adventure holiday experiences, a growing niche in the tourism industry.

A further 14 are winners of the Lilizela Tourism Awards, which honour companies that work to enhance South Africa’s reputation as a tourist destination. The winners on show at Indaba were recognised for the world-class quality of their services.

South African Tourism will be bringing 150 South African tourism professionals, the people who book the tours, to meet exhibitors at a networking event scheduled for Sunday, 8 May. This will give them all a chance to build networks or find new business

The Media Talk, discussion panel, will focus on small businesses in the tourism industry, and the economics of the industry. Delegates will unpack the impact tourism has on their local communities. They will also discuss government policies, processes and projects aiming to ensure the empowerment, development and the growth of small businesses.

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Brent Lindeque
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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