Cape Town aims for higher recognition

The Cape Town Convention Bureau and the city’s convention centre have joined forces to market the destination with a view to pushing it into a higher position in the rankings for the world’s best convention cities. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is set to open in 2003 and is a significant part of the destination marketing. Chief executive officer of the Cape Town Convention Bureau Rick Taylor said the development of the R500m (£28m) CTICC was long overdue. "Cape Town is currently the 30th most popular convention destination in the world and it has climbed 21 places on the ICCA list in 2001. Now our aim is to be in the top ten by 2010," he said. "With the CTICC as our main draw card, this is a very realistic goal." The CTICC has already received conference bookings after its opening in the third quarter of next year. In addition, 4,000 hotel rooms will be available within walking distance of the convention centre; part of the CTICC development includes a 500-room Arabella Sheraton Hotel. The centre will offer a 1,500-person auditorium and another for 620 delegates, in addition to ballrooms, 33 break-out rooms, catering for between 400 and 2,000, and dedicated exhibition space. The bureau is also hoping the centre will ensure Cape Town becomes a year-round destination. Currently most UK business arrives between October to April and the bureau would like to see an increase in trade between May and September. From May this year the bureau will re-launch its ‘secret season’, providing a range of discounted offers on accommodation and attractions.has 6,500m2 of flexible meetings space.

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