Eleven representatives from South Africa's booming Youth Travel market are set to attend the world's largest and most prestigious travel show, ITB Berlin, in March.
The visit comes as the South African national government is increasingly focusing support and funding on travel as one of the country's six priority areas for job creation, and it was made possible by funding from the Department of Trade and Industry.
ITB Berlin is the world's leading travel industry think-tank, and during the 2011 convention, will continue to serve as arguably the most important platform for the promotion of dialogue in the international tourism sector.
Says Deborah Kleynhans, national coordinator of the South African Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC) and project manager for the local ITB delegation: "We are grateful for the recognition and support this niche, but very important section of South Africa's travel market, is increasingly receiving from the South African government".
"For the first time, SAYTC will enjoy a presence at this enormously important event on the global tourism calendar, which last year saw record attendance of more than 12 500 participants. We intend to cement South Africa's growing reputation as an exciting travel destination for the adventurous and young at heart, as well as those who prefer to combine their international travel with giving back, for instance through volunteering programmes."
Bernie Meyer, tourism director in the Department of Trade and Industry's Industrial Development Division, says the government's support for SAYTC stems from its work on the development of niche tourism markets.
"We are of the opinion that Youth Tourism offers high growth potential with positive developmental impacts and an opportunity to help diversify the South African tourism economy," said Meyer.
"Supporting SAYTC to gain increased exposure at an event like ITB will improve market access for members and generate new business that will ultimately lead to increased foreign exchange earnings, tourism growth and job creation."
The eleven SAYTC members which will represent SA's Youth Travel market at ITB between March 9 and 13 (listed below), represent diverse establishments throughout the country. They include representatives from transport, accommodation and adventure establishments which serve youth travellers throughout South Africa. 03.03.2011