New look Meetings Africa announced by Tourism South Africa

New look Meetings Africa announced by Tourism South Africa

South African Tourism has revealed a strategic new look in the build up to the 17th edition of Meetings Africa which is set to buzz with industry catch up’s and business deals.

A gathering of Africa’s various stakeholders in the meeting incentives conferences/conventions and exhibitions (MICE) sector of the burgeoning tourism industry will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, from 27 February to 01 March 2023.

Speaking at the Meetings Africa 2023 media launch, South African Tourism acting chief executive officer, Themba Khumalo said, “The entire global tourism sector has been through a really rough time in the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic but we are back with a renewed energy and we are motivated to build and grow our sector to pre-pandemic levels and beyond.

“Meetings Africa aims to contribute to helping African business events players restart and grow. We want to create opportunities for Africa’s business events sector so that we can all grow back more vital than ever before.

Stressing that Meetings Africa’s single objective is to contribute to Africa’s economic success and be part of continent’s growth story, Khumalo said South Africa seeks to use Meetings Africa as “a tool to forge even more partnerships by offering various opportunities to meet face-to-face with the most influential buyers in the world.”

Sandton Convention Centre. (iStock – THEGIFT777)

South African Tourism has partnered with all nine provinces to host Meetings Africa familiarization pre and post tours for hosted buyers and media to experience South Africa’s business events facilities and establishments.

In the focus of renewed energy, this year’s Meetings Africa will, for the first time, host the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Summit. This Africa chapter of the AIPC Summit was born out of a partnership between the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a business unit of South African Tourism and the AIPC.

Khumalo said the Summit is critical for the continent, to ensure that Africa’s conferencing facilities are on par with those from the rest of the world, “This Summit will help African venues to benchmark themselves against the global standards, to brand and position themselves based on what people are looking for in an internationally recognized venue.”

To date 275 buyers representing 45 countries have been approved to participate at Meetings Africa 2023, with almost 450 applications being vetted. A total of 305 exhibitors representing 15 African countries are currently registered to showcase their wares this year. Various Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) will also be at Meetings Africa in the development zone.

“Transformation, inclusive economic growth and accelerating job creation are all central to all the work we do at South African Tourism. Providing our small businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to also interact and engage with hosted buyers is very important because we are serious about harnessing business opportunities both within the African continent and globally,” added Khumalo.

Cape Town South Africa-min

Meetings Africa will be preceded by the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDAy) on the 27th of February with the official opening of the trade show taking place on the 28th of February.  There will also be a variety of business-driven talks and discussions. This year’s Meetings Africa will also convey the African spirit through music, arts and crafts stalls; a variety of culinary offerings and will be a showcase of various cultures from all the African countries exhibiting at the trade show.

Khumalo also announced also revealed the latest tourism performance numbers highlighting that tourism is a critical contributor to the economy.

Following the trends elsewhere in the world, cumulative arrivals for January to November increased by 151.9 per cent reach in the same period for 2021.

778,222 travellers arrived from Europe, whereas 285,446 arrived from America, which was a 227 per cent increase, though numbers are still not back to pre 2019 levels.

Domestic travel has seen an increase of 139.4 per cent in overnight trips from January to November 2022

Total domestic expenditure increased 172.4 percent over 2021 and was driven up by holiday trips (44.3 per cent of total exposure).


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