South Africa is a leading globally-competitive business events destination boasting new infrastructure development and hosting world-class events. This was the sentiment expressed in Barcelona this week, where the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) trade show, IBTM World, is taking place.
Speaking to media, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a unit of South African Tourism, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, announced that for the first time ever, South Africa will host the ICCA Association Meetings Programme (AMP) between the 18th and the 20th June 2019 in the city of Durban where over 100 delegate comprised of ICCA members and various association executives, will congregate over the three days. ICCA is the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
“We are thrilled to welcome back our ICCA family to South Africa after we hosted a very successful ICCA annual congress in 2004 in Cape Town. This time we have the opportunity to showcase another very iconic city in South Africa. Durban is a diverse African city that is focused on investment and growing the economy. It is therefore not a coincidence that the city attracts such important meetings,” said Kotze-Nhlapo.
James Rees, ICCA President said: “ICCA's statistics on international association meetings show that the number of meetings in the African region has more than tripled in number in the last 20 years. This is a clear sign of the region's growing importance in the global meetings market. ICCA is proud to show its support for the region by hosting our annual Association Meetings Programme (AMP). The event is attended by both ICCA member-suppliers and association clients, and will provide the perfect opportunity for all major international meetings stakeholders in Africa to deepen their knowledge about association meetings research, bidding, sales and marketing."
The ICCA Association Meetings Programme (AMP) meeting will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre which is also celebrating its 21st anniversary this year (2018). This venue and city, are formidable players in the business events industry with Durban being the only city other than Washington DC to have played host the World Aids Society twice having hosted the event in 2000 and in 2016. Durban won the event over London and Istanbul in 2016 proving that South Africa has the capability to beat any destination in the world.
Kotze-Nhlapo also shared South Africa’s newly-launched business events “Meet Here. Grow Anywhere” campaign.
“‘Meet Here, Grow Anywhere’ is about bringing people to the source of business inspiration – South Africa. We need to show the world what South Africa is capable of as a business events destination. People who meet in South Africa are immediately inspired by the spirit of our warm, welcoming and entrepreneurial people and they take that, thrive and grow anywhere in the world,” adds Kotze-Nhlapo.
In committing to the ethos of the “Meet Here. Grow Anywhere” campaign, South Africa is continuing its commitment in investment in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the business events sector. This year a total of ten enterprises are exhibiting at this trade show as part of South Africa’s National Department of Tourism’s Incentive Programme.
“Our SMEs are an integral part of our tourism offering. They are what makes South Africa an excellent value for money, authentic and enriching business events destination,” concludes Kotze-Nhlapo.
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