South Africa: key figures for event planners

C&IT looks at South Africa's impressive post-World Cup C&I numbers.

South Africa: key figures for event planners
South Africa: key figures for event planners

3.18m - The total attendance for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This figure ensured that 92.9 per cent of seats were filled, at an average of 49,670 per game. Fifa are notoriously guarded about statistics for corporate hospitality seats sold, but newspaper reports claimed that corporate attendance fell way below expectations, and many tickets were released for general sale to the public. Despite this, the organisers were still able to claim the third-biggest total attendance in the wake of the worst global recession since the 1930s. Bradley Glenn, managing director for The Inside Edge, a local DMC, said: "We are entering an incredibly exciting time given the window that the World Cup has opened for us. Notably in terms of how the country was showcased over the tournament and the changing of many people's perceptions, but also in the advances in infrastructure."

500 ... (and counting) golf courses across the country. The number is growing at an astonishing rate as South Africa pitches itself as a developing golf destination. Probably the most famous course is the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City, home to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which offers the biggest first prize of any tournament in the world. Leopard Creek is rated the best course in South Africa, and 25th in the world outside the US. It is situated on the border of the world-famous Kruger National Park, and Gary Player's design takes advantage of the natural environment, which is home to Africa's "big five" - lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo - and more than 200 species of birds that make their homes in the surrounding trees, some of which are more than 100 years old. Players are protected from the wildlife by means of innovative architectural and landscaping techniques, although water hazards might include the odd hippopotamus or crocodile.

112 - The capacity for a gala dinner at the new One & Only resort that recently opened in Cape Town. The hotel also boasts an intimate boardroom for up to 20 delegates and a pool terrace for outdoor cocktail receptions of up to 66. The resort is situated on the buzzing Victoria and Albert waterfront, has views of Table Mountain and serves a menu designed by Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa. It's the first luxury hotel to open in the city for a decade, and has 131 rooms and suites.

44 - New hotels scheduled to open in South Africa in 2010, spread across the major cities and provinces. Among the highlights is the Radisson Blu Hotel Gautrain, which opened in April 2010 and has 216 rooms and views across Johannesburg. The property has six meeting spaces including a 240m2 conference room and an executive boardroom. Overlooking Chris Sanders Park, Durban's newest property is the Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge, which has 205 rooms and 50 self-catering units. There are seven conference spaces made up of two boardrooms and five multi-use venues, with a maximum seating capacity of 370 people. Neulah Mallinson, operations director at Ovation South Africa, said: "The new hotels in South Africa offer excellent facilities and competitive rates. The country is riding high on spirit and enthusiasm and it is visible everywhere."

14.5 - The percentage of incoming travellers to the country that are travelling for business or incentives. According to South African Tourism, the vast majority of visitors head for the Western Cape (more than 70 per cent), with the other southern provinces - Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Mpumulanga - all visited by just over 20 per cent of visitors. Business and incentive visits peak in the months from November to February, when it is winter in the UK but summer in South Africa.

4 - Direct air routes operating from the UK to South Africa. South African Airlines, British Airways, British Midland and Virgin Atlantic all operate routes from London airports to Cape Town and Johannesburg, with 11 other airlines flying out of the UK via their European hubs, including Air France via Paris, Iberia via Madrid and BMI via Frankfurt. Direct flight time is just over 11 hours, but with only a one or two-hour time difference to the UK, jet lag shouldn't be a problem.

2 - South African restaurants made Michelin's 'World's Best Restaurants' list in 2010. La Colombe is in wine country, just 20 minutes by car from Cape Town, and has views of vineyards and the local cricket pitch. Chef Luke Dale Roberts serves a sophisticated, Asian-influenced menu. Le Quartier Francais is also in wine country and surrounded by the Franschhoek Mountains. Dutch-born Margot Janse presides over the restaurant and serves South African game specialities. A new tapas bar - The Common Room - has also just opened in Le Quartier Francais, serving delights such as fish pops with chakalaka ketchup, or springbok bitterballen with apple mustard.

DIRECTORY
South African Tourism
Contact: Donna Abberley
Tel: 020 8971 9354
Email: donna@uk.southafrica.net
Web: www.southafrica.net

 

Visit C&IT's South Africa destination guide here

 


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