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.

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