The Republic of South Africa Minister of Tourism and South African Tourism, the Honourable Marthinus van Schalkwyk attended AIME, holding a press conference to launch the country’s latest initiative in business tourism, the National Convention Bureau (NCB).
In Melbourne to host delegates from South African Tourism, including recently appointed CEO Thulani Nzima and Chief Marketing Officer Roshene Singh, the Minister discussed the benefits of South Africa as a business tourism destination, the strategies in place in Australasia to focus on growing this market, and how these strategies, along with the newly developed NCB will focus on capitalising on previous successes to accelerate growth.
“Since our Sydney office opened in 2003, our Government and South African Tourism have placed a dedicated focus on the Australasian market.
We continually carry out engagement and education programs which are an integral part of South African Tourism’s global strategy to secure more conference and incentive business, but more so, to demonstrate to the Australian conference and incentives market that South Africa is home to a host of fantastic new products and programs that will make client events not only trendsetting, but unforgettable,” said Mr van Schalkwyk.
“The establishment of the National Convention Bureau will position South Africa as Africa’s leading centre for regional and international conventions, exhibitions, incentives, arts, cultural and sports events.
“It will further consolidate and coordinate efforts on a national scale, enhance our process for bidding for international meetings and will increase our capacity to bid for even more business-tourism related events,” added Mr van Schalkwyk.
Acting as a ‘one-stop-shop’ the NCB will coordinate national bidding, undertake research and collaborate with national convention centres in order to present a united front for destination South Africa.
“Ambitious targets have been set for the National Conventions Bureau, which will strive to achieve a 50 percent increase in the number of international conventions held in SA by the year 2020,” concluded Mr van Schalkwyk.
Major Conferences South Africa has recently won include the bid to host the 2013 6th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria Pan-African Conference (MIM) in Durban. South Africa will also host the World Golf Championships in 2012 and the AFCON Cup in 2013.
The Minister concluded the conference with the launch of www.southafricanholidays.com.au which will further focus on making access to travel packages and deals easier for leisure travelers; highlighting to Australian travellers that holidays in South Africa are both affordable and accessible.