South Africa’s Strategy to Attract Association Conferences

December 8, 2017

South Africa’s Strategy to Attract Association Conferences

The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) has big ambitions for its meetings business and is particularly interested in attracting international association conferences as part of its growth strategy.

South Africa is already a popular destination among associations and hosted 125 conferences accredited with the International Congress and Conventions Association in 2016, an addition of 17 more conferences than 2015.

South Africa Tourism recently issued a study that found the business events industry contributes €7.2 billion to the economy each year, but SANCB’s ambitions are not solely financially driven. South African leadership is eager to raise the country’s status as an active participant in the global knowledge economy.

To do so, the South African government has pledged to support the business events industry with a €5.6 million grant that allows SANCB to more aggressively bid for international association conferences and meetings over the next three years, SANCB will also target members of the association conferences that are already confirmed to take place in South Africa over the next five years.

SANCB is particularly interested in growing its influence in the medical and scientific fiel​d ​to build upon previous conferences such as the 21st International Aids Conference and the International Diabetes Federation Conference, which were hosted in South Africa last year.

July 13, 2017

Rwanda, a Newcomer as a Convention Destination

Rwanda is shaping up as one of East Africa’s premier business tourism destinations, following efforts by the government and its partners to help strengthen and grow the private sector in the meetings market, a recent article in The Independent argues.

Having climbed from 7th to 3rd in the International Congress and Convention Associations’ (ICCA’s) 2016 latest ranking of business tourism in Africa, Rwanda is obviously becoming a destination of choice for association planners.

The east African country invested in a brand new state of the art convention centre adjoining the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kigali, Marriott Hotel Kigali with major meeting spaces available in the hotel plus added new hotels. as does the investment in the national airline RwandAir, which is now serving 21 destinations in Africa, the Middle East and India while adding London at the end of May to their network too.

Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, boasts an international events under its belt, including high-level forums such as the World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2016, 27th African Union Summit in July 2016, the Global African Investment Summit in September 2016, Africa Hotel Investment Forum in October 2016 and the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in October 2016.

According to the latest biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Rwanda is ranked the ninth safest country globally for tourists.