In Cape Town and the Western Cape, situated at the most southern point of Africa, it is not only soccer fever that is running high ahead of the year 2010, but also conference fever
In Cape Town and the Western Cape, situated at the most southern point of Africa, it is not only soccer fever that is running high ahead of the year 2010, but also conference fever as the destination's business tourism calendar for 2010 is filling up rapidly.
South Africa will be hosting the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010. As the country, its people and infrastructure developers are eagerly preparing for probably the world's biggest sporting and media event, it is becoming abundantly clear that the growing interest in the host destination also has a business tourism side to it.
The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention and Events Bureau, together with key tourism role-players like the state-of-the-art and recently expanded Cape Town International Convention Centre and associations involved in the bidding processes, have already secured altogether 10 conferences, congresses and conventions for 2010. These conferences are expected to bring a combined 16 300 business tourists and an economic impact of approximately R166.3 million (EUR16.65million) to the region.
"The 2010 FIFA World Cup provides the Western Cape, South Africa and the African continent with an unprecedented opportunity to market ourselves not only as a world-class, but also a unique tourism destination"
Calvyn Gilfellan, Acting Chief Executive of Cape Town Routes Unlimited
[NIEUWE_PAGINA]The conferences that will be held in Cape Town, situated in South Africa's Western Cape province, in 2010 include:
"While we have the world's eyes on us and we are preparing to receive thousands of soccer enthusiasts, we must use this opportunity to position our destination in such a way that those who will be visiting South Africa in 2010, do visit the Western Cape, and that they return soon for more, bringing with them their friends and family. We believe that having conferences and events run parallel to the soccer tournament will help us to achieve this. And should Cape Town's facilities get filled up, we have five other regions in the Western Cape that stand ready to host delegates," he says.
Cape Town is currently ranked the number one convention destination in Africa. The city secures more than half of conference business coming into the continent. Cape Town is also enjoying the 29th position on the International Congress and Convention Association's (ICCA) Global Ranking Report, confirming that it is a business tourism destination of choice for conference planners worldwide. Cape Town and the Western Cape wins an extraordinary 90% of the conferences it bids for.
[NIEUWE_PAGINA]"The incredible rate at which we are securing conferences together with our tourism partners, is an indication of the world's recognition of and growing interest in our region, country and continent as a business tourism destination. It installs confidence and is a vital building block in realising our tourism dream for Cape Town and the Western Cape – to be one of the world's top tourist destinations by 2020," says Gilfellan.
IFAC has selected Cape Town as the venue for its 19th World Congress in 2014, at the invitation of the South African Council for Automation and Computation (SACAC). Says President of SACAC, Dr Richard Roberts: "Many of the prospective delegates will be students, so IFAC requires any congress city to have abundant accommodation to suit all pockets as well as a wide variety of tourist attractions for 'accompanying persons', and Cape Town meets these requirements with ease."
But the undisputed quality of its conventions facilities alone doesn't explain the emergence of the Western Cape as the preferred host for conferences and the broader meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sector. Nor do the favourable exchange rates, its famed hospitality or the fact that it's generally no further away than an overnight flight.
Cape Town is an internationally connected, cosmopolitan city with world class telecommunications infrastructure and excellent connections to other major cities and regional centres throughout South Africa and beyond.
Besides its African identity, the Western Cape province is also a unique global mix of culture, cuisine, architecture and arts from Europe, the Middle and Far East, making the Western Cape a palette of French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, British, Indian, Indonesian, Dutch influences. Its attraction lies in a host of factors. Whether visitors are drawn to World Heritage Sites or extreme sports, there's something for everyone.