September is Tourism Month and it’s the ideal time of year to enjoy exploring and experiencing Johannesburg in all its vibrancy and diversity. With gorgeous late sunsets and champagne weather, springtime in Johannesburg offers an incredible calendar of festivals, carnivals, business, leisure and lifestyle events, showcasing the city at its very best.
Tourism Month is a celebration that highlights the importance of tourism and its invaluable contribution to South Africa’s economy. Culminating on UNWTO Tourism Day which takes place on 27 September, the theme for the 2015 celebrations is “A million New Experiences are a Sho’tleft Away,” and Johannesburg and its offerings sum up the theme perfectly.
The past few years have seen Johannesburg go from strength to strength, receiving several international accolades which commend the variety and quality of this choice destination.
The city was recently named winner of the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Destinations Award, an award that ranks the elite 1% of choice destinations, based on reviews and opinions from millions of travellers from around the globe to help other travellers choose the right destination for their perfect trip. In 2015 Johannesburg ranked twelfth on the Africa list out of 25 countries and fifth on the South Africa list out of 10.
The city was earlier this month (September) presented with the 2015 Arbour City Award by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, topping seven other municipalities including Cape Town, Tshwane and eThekwini. Johannesburg also dominates the newly released “Top African Cities for Millionaires,” report released by New World Wealth and Afrasia Bank. The report reveals Johannesburg has the most dollar millionaires in Africa above Cairo, Lagos, Cape Town and Nairobi.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Cllr Ruby Mathang said the list of accolades confirmed Johannesburg as an all year round, global destination for business, sports, lifestyle and leisure.
Cllr Mathang said the latest list of accolades signal a noticeable positive shift in perceptions and sentiments towards Johannesburg and has seen the city ranked as the only South African city to have made it onto Travel and Leisure’s 50 standout destinations for 2015, to taking the Rough Guide’s number one position as the Top City to visit in 2015, to mention only a few.
“As we look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy our remarkable city for various reasons, including the fabulous signature events which herald the beginning of spring, we’d like to remind them that Joburg is more than a stopover. To our business travellers, we’d like to remind them that there is so much more to Joburg than business. We encourage them to spend a few extra days to explore the city’s sites and attractions, and to discover why so many find Joburg extraordinary on many levels,” adds Cllr Mathang.
Tourism is an important economic sector for Johannesburg, which has a positive effect on the entire tourism value chain from accommodation providers to restaurants, transport companies, tour guides and curio shops.
Johannesburg has several arts and culture hotspots and events which offer a variety of experiences for local and international visitors alike. Visit the Maboneng Precinct for a nostalgic evening of film at the Bioscope, Vilakazi Street in Soweto for a glimpse into Johannesburg’s past or to Newtown and surrounds for bargain hunting and shopping – and so much more.
Visitors to Johannesburg are spoilt with a vast array of social, sports, entertainment and cultural offerings on offer. With over 9300 hotel rooms, excellent business connectivity, superior accessibility by road, rail and air – with 55 airlines linking Johannesburg to the rest of the country, continent and the world, the City of Gold is truly a mega offering of wonder, potential and excellence.
The City of Johannesburg has secured several top local and international events which will further cement its reputation as the ultimate business events destination. These include:
· IPRA 21st World Congress on Public Relations [27 – 29 September 2015] · Ecomobility World Festival [3-30 October 2015] · Enactus World Cup Conference [14-15 October 2015] · 23 International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection – MPES [8 – 11 November 2015] · Africities Summit [1 – 5 December 2015]
· ICOLD – International Commission on Large Dams [May 2016] · HGA GLOBAL FORUM [16 June 2016] · ILA 77 Conference of the International Law Association [7 – 11 August 2016] · FLP International Incentive Trip [September 2016] Conference of the African Health Economics and Policy Association – AFHEA  Africa & Middle East Conference of the Junior Chamber International  IIPT African Conference on Peace Through Tourism  GEC – Global Entrepreneurship Congress