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    Meetings Africa 2017 Defines Business Events and the Achievement of Development Goals

    Business Events has grown in international recognition over the past few decades across Africa and remains one of the driving growth drivers in the sector overall. As illustrated by the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2015, business air arrivals are expected to by 5% for South Africa, and 6% for Kenya, for the period from 2015 to 2019.

    The benefits and impact of meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and events on a destination can therefore create considerable opportunities for a city or country’s economy and South Africa is no different. 

    A caveat that the balance is maintained between the demand and supply sides of the industry is inherent and South Africa can successfully use business events to achieve pre-defined development goals. Meetings Africa 2017 is such an opportunity and can position South Africa as the hosting region, according to Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer of the South Africa National Convention Bureau. 

    “South Africa has everything it takes to become a major player on the global market for meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and events,” Kotze-Nhlapo said. “Most importantly, there is no time better than the present to work as a unified collective to take advantage of business events trends and subsequently promote our regional destinations locally and internationally as value-for-money termini, given the industry’s significant contribution to our country’s economy.” 

    Kotze-Nhlapo emphasised the fact that there is a need for South Africa and other African countries to solidify efforts to ensure that disadvantaged communities start benefiting from it in a sustainable manner. ‘Sustainability’ is the theme at Meetings Africa 2017, and will ensure the empowerment of local citizens while helping to protect and conserve the often fragile ecosystems on which African tourism depends. 

    With South Africa having created awareness that the country is more than capable of hosting large international meetings in recent years, coupled with the fact that the country is one of the world’s fastest growing markets – it makes sense that the upcoming Meetings Africa 2017 event is already appealing to Africa’s top exhibitors whose offerings promise to yield business opportunities. 

    “Taking into consideration its magnitude, Meetings Africa 2017 is an ideal platform for Africa to showcase its respective business tourism capabilities,” she said. “The event provides a platform for exhibitors to showcase their offerings to African associations, and international and local corporate planners. Therefore, this is the right opportunity to meet face to face with the most influential buyers in the world, and to be part of Africa’s growth.” 

    Kotze-Nhlapo added that the event will not only heighten the impact of business events on South Africa’s economy, but will draw attention to the positive influence of hosting large international meetings, which will subsequently make room for business, trade and capital investment. 

    “Foreign arrivals continue to reflect the consistent growth of South Africa’s tourism industry. Successively, foreign arrivals are very important to our industry,” she concluded.

     

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