In its 15th year running, Meetings Africa – the leading two-day Pan-African business events trade show – has grown and attained competitive strength in the global market.
Thandubuhle Mgudlwa, Director: Tourism (Department of Economic Development, City of Johannesburg), was interviewed by Leanne Manas of SABC Morning Live prior to the opening of Meetings Africa.
“As host city, and in collaboration with our industry partners, Johannesburg is thrilled to be providing the platform for “Advancing Africa Together” – continuing to explore meaningful ways of ensuring the tourism sector benefits all, particularly youth and women, so that the country can achieve inclusive economic growth that will help tackle the endemic of poverty and inequality,” said Mgudlwa.
“Joburg is indeed the right place to be seeking opportunities for networking, identifying future business prospects and collaborative initiatives. We are proud and honoured to be the Host City and home of an exhibition of this calibre. Meetings Africa has come a long way –and continues its steady growth trajectory. This year Meetings Africa will host exhibitors from 20 different African countries, along with hundreds of hosted buyers, looking to bring their MICE business to the continent.”
In line with the prioritisation of achieving increased visitor arrivals in the city and contributing towards the City’s economic growth targets, the Department of Economic Development’s strategic objective is to promote Johannesburg to be the number one African destination of choice for both business and leisure in an effort to:
~ Improve seasonality, length of stay and tourist spend during visits to Joburg;
~ Improve the diversity of the tourism offering in Joburg; and
~ Build a positive image / perception for the city among local, national and international audiences.
According to the South Africa International Meetings 2014/2015/2016 National Contribution Study, annually the international business events industry supports on average some 252 000 direct and indirect job equivalents in South Africa, and contributes (in total) over R115 billion to GDP annually in South Africa.
The average conference delegate will spend 7 days in South Africa in total and approximately 5 days attending the conference.
According to the Joburg Convention Bureau, the average business traveller spends R6400.00 per day.
“We are committed to creating an investor and visitor-friendly city in line with the City’s strategic priorities and initiatives including good governance, financial sustainability, integrated human settlements, sustainable service delivery, job creation and opportunity, a safer city, an active and engaged citizenry, sustainable economic growth and a smart city,” said Mgudlwa.
“I would like to remind all our visitors that while Meetings Africa is one the African continent’s most significant business tourism lekgotlas, that “There is More to Joburg Than Business and Joburg is Up There with the Best – not only are we the most visited city in Africa since 2013 (according to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index), Joburg is also the only city on the continent that has made it into the EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL’S TOP 100 CITIES ranking – positioned 37th ; in Africa and the Middle East, Joburg is positioned at number 3, after Dubai (UAE) and Mecca (Saudi Arabia), respectively.”