Wednesday, March 7, 2012

South Africa Pursues Bigger Share of Business Tourism Market

Meetings Africa 2012 kicked off yesterday, 28th February at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre (SCC). The event is the country’s premier exhibition of impressive paraphernalia of South Africa’s business tourism industry. Having taken a great leap forward already in recent past, South Africa is aiming to become one of the preferred destination to host some of the world’s big events related to MICE tourism.

Meetings Africa saw more than 200 international hosted buyers who took flights to Johannesburg to attend the event from 18 markets including the UK, USA, Australia, Kenya, Germany, Netherlands, China, Brazil and Nigeria.

As per a news release on the event’s website the newly-established National Convention Bureau (NCB) at South African Tourism would be critical in harnessing national business tourism efforts. The Bureau will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for independent information and assistance, offering neutral advice on various aspects of organizing and hosting any event related to business tourism and travel in South Africa and will execute a number of key responsibilities.

Johannesburg’s Role

Johannesburg is the country’s economic hub. Home to 70 percent of company headquarters, modern infrastructure including lavish holiday and business hotels, shopping malls, convention centres, and an array exciting outdoors, interesting tours of natural, cultural and man made attractions, the city is already at the forefront of air travel and tourism industry in South Africa. The city’s state-of-the-art O.R Tambo International Airport, hub for the flag carrier South African Airways, continues to host countless international tourists who buy tickets on flights to Johannesburg.

The revelation that, in the first quarter of 2012, Johannesburg along with Cape Town and Durban has secured over 50 conferences, and in the next five years, these key metropolises would host over 200 conferences, is highly encouraging for country’s MICE endeavours.

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