Attributing his overwhelming congratulations to the South African National Convention Bureau, launched last year as part of increasing the numbers in the country, the Minister said there was great untapped potential for the regional business events within the industry.
“Under the SANCB’s growth strategy a number of events had already been secured for SA over the next few years’,” he said.
According to latest stats, 87 new meetings have been confirmed from now until 2017 thus contributing over R2, 6bn into the economy. Also in 2013 alone, 38 secured association meeting will bring in excess of R680m but according to Schalkwyk, South Africa can still do more.
“We have achieved much but we can do better, especially as a region to grow our share of the global market in business events.
Entering its tenth edition, Meetings Africa is about trade business were local, Continental and international buyers meet to discuss ways to improve tourism, social developments and creation of businesses amongst Continents within the tourism sector.
Although the Minister was unclear on what matters would be discussed during this four day gathering, matters such as rhino poaching; economic meltdown in European states; airlines state of affairs both in SA and abroad and job creation would be amongst the top features on his agenda.
On the business front, Van Schalkwyk said business events industry has a huge impact and influence on the country’s macro-economy such as, it stimulates locally produced good; builds solid business contacts and creates access to new ideas and new technologies, amongst others.
“We know that the real, rich potential for growth and unlocking the lucrative value that the market offers will be best realized if we unite as destinations across the Continent, and across the region to give the world one irresistible offering for business events: the beauty and capability of a Pan-African destination.”
Global business event buyer numbers have grown by 70% on last year’s numbers.
Close to 350 international, regional and local qualified buyers are attending the four day event.
In his parting short, “Kortbroek” as the Minister is known said we must strive to outperform all of our competitors.
Mpho Motshegoa, North West Parks& Tourism Board Marketing Manager said they would like to increase their business tourism portfolio to conscientious the outside world on their product offerings.