Tshwane, a booming contender for Association Meetings

20th Jun, 2016

For the first time in history, Tshwane has made the famous ICCA rankings, the annual list of the world’s top cities for hosting international associations. One of the top 10 cities in Africa, Tshwane is ranked 254 – up from 284 compared to 2014 – a testament to the city wanting to be a key player in the meetings industry.

UnisaStriving to become an international business travel destination of choice, the City of Tshwane has identified business and diplomatic tourism as a catalytic economic game changer. “Tourism creates jobs, it builds understanding and unity, it breaks down barriers,” says the Deputy City Manager for Strategy Development and Implementation, Lindiwe Kwele. The international associations meetings market is seen as one of the most resilient sectors in the travel industry during times of economic turbulence.

Long-term Vision

Fittingly, Tshwane has recently been in the spotlight at the Tshwane International Trade and Infrastructure Investment Conference (TITIIC) that took place at the CSIR International Convention Centre. On this occasion, Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa explained Tshwane’s long-term Vision 2055. “We have identified four high-potential sectors namely education and the knowledge economy, agricultural production and agro-processing, tourism and the green economy – that could contribute up to 490,000 jobs and R125-billion to GVA by 2030. These sectors offer big opportunities for citizens with different levels of skills to find a job in the near future.”

CSIR International Convention CentreTshwane has indeed a long-term development vision. One of the largest metropolitan areas in South Africa, it is opening a new chapter by developing the municipality into a first-class destination for visitors, investors and residents. The city will soon compete with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban by becoming a much sought-after player in the meeting world.

Tshwane wants to attract the lucrative conference market in the city, which is home to 132 embassies and four universities. By investing in infrastructure and leveraging its unique characteristics such as access to academic institutions, strong pan-African ties through the diplomatic corps, and innovative research and development bodies, it aims to attract more businesses and conferences, and thus build a strong future.

Enhancing Factors

Several factors enhance Tshwane as a destination: it is a small region, with all tourism sites very close to one another; it offers authentic South African experiences in the villages, the townships and the capital city; and it offers unique attractions where travellers can get an “Out of Africa” experience within 60km of a major city centre.

Business visitors have access to world-class hotels and conference centres. Infrastructure is world-class. Tshwane is within easy reach from OR Tambo International Airport while the banking and telecommunications systems are comparable with the best. It is also considered the intellectual capital of the country, and the knowledge hub of the continent. Some 80% of the country’s research and development takes place in Tshwane.

Now, with the ICCA listing, organisers have another reason to turn to the City of Tshwane to host their meetings.


Lillian Hlabangane
Director: International & Association Meetings Management
City of Tshwane
T. +27 12 358 8248
Mob. +27 82 700 5172

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