This is according to Nina Freysen-Pretorius, national chairperson of the Southern African Association for the Conference industry (SAACI), who spoke at the opening of the 18th SAACI National Conference in Cape Town earlier this week.
She challenged South Africa’s national carrier, South African Airways (SAA), to support the needs of the business tourism sector so that international delegates could more easily get to South Africa.
Tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who opened the conference, said business tourism needed to be private sector-driven. He said that to demonstrate the government’s commitment to this, R700 million of the national tourism budget goes to marketing the country, driven by the private sector.
He also touched on the imminent launch of the new National Conventions Bureau, to be established within South African Tourism. It is expected to play a significant role in coordinating and strengthening efforts to attract meetings and conventions to South Africa.