Fully Subscribed Meetings Africa Eyes Continental Growth

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“We have had a great outing at Meetings Africa and we are quite happy to return next year” said Pieter van Rooyen, General Manager of Bon Hotel Bloemfontein Central.

This summed the general thumps up by buyers at the 15th edition of Meetings Africa.

Strutting around the venue (Sandton International Convention Centre) you could feel the permeating corporate vibe.

Both large and small players in the African meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry had arrived to align with those matching their needs. With a 100 space booking and over 300 high value buyers, the event guaranteed ROI to most of the participants. 

At the opening of the three day event Minister of Tourism, Ms Mamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane said: “Meetings Africa has assisted in creating and cementing partnerships as well as collaborations, both continentally and globally.”

The continental gathering is destined for growth into the future and the tourism sector had the potential to assist Africa continue its inevitable march towards sustainable growth.

Other tourism players like Democratic Republic of Congo Tourism Board attended for the first time and was out to connect with various participants for their data base.  Sam Mayaka an adviser for the Minister of Tourism commented that he had had a very good response from attending the event.

“We are here for the first time and are meeting a lot of players who will be useful in our data base for our country’s future travel and tourism industry. The DRC is now doing things differently and we are poised for growth,” he commented.

There was excitement and satisfaction among Meetings Africa organizers derived from the fact that this just ended edition has been rated as the biggest so far. 

Meetings Africa provided a perfect setting for the SACCI press launch of their forthcoming congress scheduled between 26 and 28 July 2020 at the Indaba Hotel and The Canvas in Johannesburg. Themed “Welcome the Unknown”, this year’s congress has been organized to “answer the concerns of members.”

Registration for the 2020 edition opened on 25 February 2020, with the starting fee of R3,500 which is almost half of the actual price and an advantage to those early registrants.

No speakers from the past 5 years will be engaged this year with the list of new speakers including South African personalities like Nicholas Dhlamini, a cyclist from UCI World Team NTT Pro Cycling and Sonto Ndhlovu CEO of Limpopo Tourism Agency and others. There will also be speakers from across the African continent.

An appeal was sent to the private sector to sponsor youths to enable them to attend the congress so that they are informatively empowered.

Several firsts will be experienced this year. This includes the already implemented appointment of a BEE consultant, which is expected to take transformation especially in South Africa to a whole new level.  Another first is the call for abstracts for those who want to present.

SACCI has partnered with the Johannesburg City in a move that will see the later leveraging the former’s membership for its strategy execution. To this end, tourism businesses were urged to collaborate with the City to ensure moving in one direction and growth.      

There are also plans underway to have, in the near future, the hosting of SACCI on a rotational basis in Africa.

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Martin is a South Africa-based Zimbabwe-born Journalist, Media Consultant, Arts Writer & Critic with many years’ experience working in Zimbabwe, South Africa and across the African continent. He is the founder of Tipindewo Afrika Media, a Johannesburg-based new entry in the arts, events, media consultancy and entertainment production space. Martin Chemhere has for more than 20 years worked in public relations and media, as well as written on arts, culture, entertainment, cultural tourism, and aviation and travel and tourism.

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