SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima – EIBTM Press Conference.
Mr Thulani Nzima said at EIBTM 2013, “We are at EIBTM again this year, because we know the value that platforms like this where we get to showcase the best of our beauty, service-ethic, capability, accessibility and value for money offerings for any business event.”
South African National Convention Bureau has been in operation for nearly two years and, we are working hard to ensure that Africa as a continent works together in partnership, to significantly grow Africa’s share of global business events. Earlier this year, we launched our strategic positioning – RISE WITH US!
According to the International Monetary Fund growth forecast recently issued, Africa will grow by 6% on average next year (2014). Furthermore, The African Development Bank predicts that by 2030, Africa’s middle class will have grown rapidly. Consumer spend in Africa is expected to sky-rocket from $680 billion in 2008 to $2, 2 trillion by 2030. So, it is evident – Africa is no longer on the sidelines and has taken centre stage.
SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM invites you to seriously consider Africa as a destination for meetings, events, incentives and exhibitions because South Africa is capable, and delivers on expectations with excellence. We’re organised and we have the skill and track record that speaks of success and offers the assurance of excellent, professional, awesome delivery for any event. South Africa’s track record shows we mean business.
South Africa is still ranked the number one association conference destination on the African continent. The 97 international association meetings that South Africa hosted last year amounted to a third of all the meetings hosted on the entire continent.
Among the major conferences South Africa has hosted are:
- The International Aids Conference that took place in 2000, which we have won the right to host for a second time in 2016 and will be taking place in Durban;
- International Diabetes Federation (IDF) took place in 2006 and is the largest association conference hosted by Cape Town.
- More recently, the United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference also known as COP 17 (2011) was hosted in Durban.
- The city also hosted the World Congress on Intensive and Critical Care Medicine (WFSICMM) with a total of 10,000 delegates, the 123rd Session of the International Olympic Organising Committee (2011); and in March this year the Fifth BRICS Summit.
Just last month (2-5 October), Johannesburg played host to the One Young World Summit. Described by CNN as the ‘Junior Davos’, it 4 brought together 1,250 of the world’s most promising young leaders (under the age of 30) representing 190 countries to South Africa to share a platform with the likes of Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, Muhammad Yunus and Arianna Huffington. In pure financial terms, it is estimated that the event contributed more than US$2 million to the South African economy. The One Young World was covered by more than 100 international reporters and by 10 international broadcasters with coverage in more than 130 media outlets worldwide.
South Africa offers value for money; economic and political stability; and a safe and secure destination for delegates. South Africa also has a business events infrastructure that’s extremely capable.
We have five international convention centres, hundreds of four and five-star hotels – these are star-graded properties with guaranteed quality, excellent airport infrastructure, world-class technology and people with the skills and the experience to deliver the world’s most sophisticated business events.
Next year we celebrate 20 years in a democratic South Africa, an achievement we look forward to celebrating across all sectors of our economy. Attracting international events to our country has been a focus of our government since the dawn of our democracy in 1994. According to ICCA South Africa hosted 1038 international association conferences that meet their criteria since 1994. We are proud not only of the quantity, but of the quality of events we have hosted.
The South African National Convention Bureau has been successful in helping our destination to secure 106 major bids in conjunction with our city and provincial Convention Bureaus, for the period 2013 until 2017. Jointly, these bids will contribute immensely to our economy. These meetings will bring an estimated 220 000 delegates to the country.
One of the biggest will be the 21st International Aids Conference, which is to be held in 2016 in Durban. We have set ambitious targets for the industry under the leadership of the SANCB, and those targets include growing conventions delegates from 54 000 in 2012 to 78 000 in 2020 and increasing the number of business events delegates from 125 600 in 2012 to 210 000 in 2020.
In conclusion, allow me to give you an update on Meetings Africa, our world-class business events trade show that we host in Johannesburg every year. This year, we welcomed more than 300 international buyers to Meetings Africa. 115 of them were at Meetings Africa for the very first time, giving more evidence that Africa has come of age as a business events destination.
Meetings Africa is now committed to an irrevocable path of being a truly pan-African exhibition. We have invited the rest of the African continent to come and exhibit at Meetings Africa 2014, and already we have nine African destinations confirmed to join us on the exhibitor floor. We have already received 155 hosted buyer applications and 55 have those are already qualified and approved while 57 of those did not meet the criteria for qualification. We already have 600 local corporates that have signed up for next year’s Meetings Africa.
So we extend the invitation for you to join us in Johannesburg for Meetings Africa – from the 24th to the 26th February 2014. We invite the global market to do more than consider Africa as an option for business events. Today we invite the world to bring its business to South Africa. We issue this invitation because we are completely confident of the products and services we offer.