Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism for
South Africa outlined how South Africa, as a world-class business events
destination, will respond to the next decade in the face of rising interest in
the African continent.
Speaking at ibtm world in Barcelona,
Minister Hanekom outlined how South Africa hosted 124 international association
conferences in 2014 alone which attracted just under 70,000 industry
professionals. Of these 124 conferences, 81% were international rotating
events. He also reminded all that the South Africa National Convention Bureau
(SANCB) has only been in existence for three years.
Looking to the future, SANCB has secured
163 bids for South Africa between 2016 and 2020, from industry sectors as
diverse as mining, health and agriculture. Collectively they are expected to
bring over 150,000 delegates to South Africa and contribute approximately R3.1billion
to the economy.
“The potential of Africa for the MICE industry is exponential. The
tide has turned, we can see that our growth opportunities are now also within
the African market. There are 770 registered African associations on the ICCA
database. 178 of these are based in South Africa and 592 on the rest of the
continent and 218 regional conferences were registered on the continent in 2014
resulting in 610 events over the last five years. South Africa only hosted 63
of these events in the past 5 years,” said Minister Hanekom.
The first African Association Society of
Executives, which was formed this year, will hold its first AGM at Meetings
Africa 2016, SANCB’s signature business events trade shows held annually in
February at the Sandton convention Centre in Johannesburg. Other new
developments include identifying and collaborating with a key strategic partner
to oversee the management of the tradeshow going forward.
The Minister also announced the SANCB is
most excited that the European Cities Marketing (ECM) programme is coming to
South Africa. This will be the first time that this initiative takes place in
South Africa just ahead of the 2016 edition of Meetings Africa.
The South African National Government
supports over 1.4 million jobs and investment continues in its climate change
research and management of ocean resources as well as science and technology,
minerals and gas exploration.