LEBO MOKHESI, UK COUNTRY MANAGER FOR SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM
- What has been the immediate impact of the World Cup 2010 on C&I business?
The wheels are already in motion to use the new and upgraded infrastructure, with a record number of conferences, congresses and events due to take place in South Africa (SA) over the next few years. So far, our big three conference cities - Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg - have all won bids for international conferences that will see them hosting more than 300,000 delegates over the next five years. Corporate meetings and incentive programmes are also expected to rise, with more enquiries attributed to the increased destination awareness post-World Cup. The positive feedback we have received from existing and potential clients who watched it on television leads us to believe SA will be hosting even more corporate incentives in the coming months.
- What will the longer-term legacy of hosting the World Cup be from an events industry perspective?
South Africa now contends as a leading meetings destination for all sectors, assisted by a wealth of new facilities, including the new King Shaka International airport, situated north of Durban, and Southern Africa's first rapid rail/train system, the Gautrain, which has commenced operations after taking its inaugural journey in June. We are also positioning SA as one of the best sport, 'mega event' and conferencing destinations in the world. A National Event and Convention Bureau, proposed by the National Department of Tourism (NDT), is currently being considered, with the aim of ensuring the destination can capitalise on the successful hosting of the World Cup and attract other similar events in the future.
- Which lesser-known destinations are now benefiting from greater awareness and new investment?
In my opinion Durban, the lesser-known coastal city, has benefited the most from the World Cup. It opened its international airport a month before the start of the tournament and the Moses Mabhida stadium also received wide acclaim from World Cup visitors and the media for its architectural beauty. Furthermore, Durban had arguably the best fan parks during the World Cup due to its fantastic weather even in the midst of winter, another factor that I think will boost arrival numbers in future.
- How will you promote South Africa to UK event planners in 2011?
South African Tourism will be at trade shows such as EIBTM, and IMEX, with the highlight being our own annual showcase, Meetings Africa. We are also looking forward to hosting the annual SITE conference in Cape Town this December. Some of our marketing plans for next year include a series of one-day UK workshops introducing conference and incentive organisers to SA's new hotels, interesting venues and professional DMCs. Our key focus will be showcasing undiscovered destinations within SA, along with the new and unique experiences available throughout the country to enhance conferences and incentive programmes.
South African Tourism
Contact: Donna Abberley
Tel: 020 8971 9354