Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SA business tourism gets R1.6bn injection

South Africa is aggressively pursuing a bigger share of the global business tourism market, says Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Over the next five years South Africa has already secured over 200 international conferences, which is estimated to attract 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost of more than R1.6-billion, the Meetings Africa 2012 conference heard.

Van Schalkwyk told delegates at the conference, which started on Tuesday, that the newly-established National Convention Bureau at South African Tourism would be critical in harnessing national business tourism efforts.

The bureau has set a target for 2012/13 of supporting at least 30 bids, with a potential of 18 000 delegates and R162-million direct economic spend.

Partnership is key to South Africa’s business tourism growth, he said.

The bureau is designed to act as a one-stop shop for independent information and assistance, giving neutral advice on all aspects of hosting and organising any business tourism-related event in South Africa. The NCB will co-ordinate national bidding, undertake research and collaborate with national convention centres and the business tourism industry to present a united front for destination South Africa.

South African Tourism has prepared an 18-month implementation plan for the bureau, including the preparation of a national bidding policy and guidelines for the selection of suitable events. The bureau, through an extensive stakeholder engagement process, said it was working collaboratively with the business tourism industry on its activation strategy and business plan.

SA already boasts a 40% return of delegates as leisure visitors (Melbourne has a 23% return), while 43% of all delegates bring an accompanying person (a leisure tourist spends R1 000 per day during visits).

“We want to, through the National Convention Bureau and through the continued growth of the Meetings Africa platform, make our destination more competitive in this market. We want to grow our global market share, which will require government and the private sector to work closely together as partners to shape the future of business tourism, to grow business tourist arrivals, and to fulfil the rich potential of destination South Africa as a business tourism destination,” said Van Schalkwyk

The bureau will officially start to operate in April 2012.

More than 200 international hosted buyers are attending Meetings Africa this year, engaging with the South African and regional industry to conclude deals which seek to grow business tourism arrivals. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Evan Pickworth
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

Afrobeats conquer the world

From Grammys to sold-out concerts, the West African music phenomenon is going mainstream

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

US fashion contaminates Africa’s water

Untreated effluent from textile factories in in Lesotho, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius and Madagascar pours into rivers, contaminating the water

Deep seabed mining a threat to Africa’s coral reefs

The deep oceans are a fragile final frontier, largely unknown and untouched but mining companies and governments — other than those in Africa — are eying its mineral riches
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×