South Africa wakes up to potential of associations

South African Tourism has identified association events as a key target market and is implementing a range of initiatives in a bid to boost association bookings.

Cape Town: A destination that is popular with associations
Cape Town: A destination that is popular with associations

The new-business drive has been spurred on by the success of the dedicated association day at South Africa's annual showcase for event planners, Meetings Africa, which took place in Johannesburg from 21 to 23 February. The event, entitled 'Stand up and be heard', attracted 44 association event planners.

The fresh initiatives include the planned launch of an ambassador programme by the Joburg Convention and Events Bureau in April and the creation of the Event Greening Forum, which aims to promote ethical and sustainable business practices in the South African Events industry and has eight founder members. The International Aids Society has also expressed an interest in holding its annual conference in Cape Town on the back of Meetings Africa.

"A study to determine future strategy suggested that 70% of our resources should be invested in targeting the global association market, as it was identified as the area that could make the biggest impact and provide the biggest return on our investment," said Donna Abberley, South African Tourism business tourism manager for the UK.

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