The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) utilised its platform at IBTM World, Barcelona to reaffirm that South Africa is open for business and geared to make a greater impact in the Business Events sector, particularly going into the new decade. Its new content strategy ‘Where Great Minds Meet’ is positioning South Africa as the best place to meet, thrive and inspire business.
During IBTM World, 698 meetings were conducted at the South Africa stand which hosted 24 exhibitors from various sectors including hotels, destination management companies, provincial tourism agencies and convention bureaus, professional conference organisers as well as selected SMME’s from South African Tourism and the National Department of Tourism’s Incentive programme.
Chief Convention Bureau Officer, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo said: “It is great to see so many buyers from all over the world with a genuine interest in South African products. All of our exhibitors had great platform to showcase their products and services, and an opportunity to share with buyers why South Africa should be the next destination for their business events. I am delighted that many of the interactions and meetings will lead to concrete business leads.”
Every year, South Africa hosts 211,000 regional, national and international meetings, conferences and exhibitions. Speaking on the importance of platforms such as IBTM World, Kotze-Nhlapo said: “Although we live in a digital age, there is still immense value in having face-to-face meetings between buyers and exhibitors. These platforms allow us to physically showcase our capabilities, answer questions, dispel myths but also provide clarity and garner excitement because we are so passionate about our country and our sector.”
Exhibitor Adrian Lange, CEO of African Incentive Travel highlighted the need to leave a legacy when it comes to tourism, and also highlighted the social impact the events industry can have on the country.
Lange commented: “Tourism has evolved into being able to impact marginalised communities and make a radical transformation in areas that are affected by poverty or social issues. I am of the conviction, and I really believe we need to innovate in these areas. South Africa has always been a thought leader in tourism with care, we are very keen and always wanting to introduce people from around the world to the full picture and reality of South Africa, in a caring way. And then to come and leave a legacy and not just to have an incentive that is behind closed doors, isolated from the realities of South Africa.
South Africa has successfully hosted some of the world’s biggest sporting events and conferences including the International Diabetes Federation, International AIDS Conference, the United Nations COP 17 Conference and the International Consumer Electronics Expo.
Future events to be held in Cape Town include the World Ophthalmology Congress from 26th -29th June 2020 and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from 25th – 29th September 2022, with around 2,000 delegates expected to attend.
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