Business Tourism Facilities
The burgeoning business tourism industry is driving investments into new hotels and conferencing facilities across South Africa .
Business tourism conferencing combined with leisure activities, new to South Africa and has become a key focus of the Department of Tourism.
South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima, says that 88 secured bids for major events between 2013 and 2017 “will generate upwards of R2.6bn into our economy”. “The results that we are registering now are quite impressive, but we are just at the beginning of the process.”
The Cape Town International Convention Centre is undergoing an expansion set to double its capacity and its contribution to gross domestic product.
Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO Mmatsatsi Ramawela, said last month that the TBCSA FNB tourism business index for the second quarter of this year had confirmed the industry had returned to normal trading levels.
Hosting more African association events is a major opportunity and is also necessary in that it proves to the rest of the world that South Africa can successfully hold such events, she says.
In addition to the new hotel, the company has recently carried out a multimillion-rand refurbishment of the Premier Hotel Pinetown and has begun refurbishing the Premier Hotel Cape Manor property. MD Samuel Nassimov says the proximity of the new hotel in Midrand to the Grand Central Gautrain station and Gallagher Estate is expected to make it a sought-after accommodation and conferencing venue in the area.
Hilton Cape Town City Centre GM Markus Fritz says there is “a tremendous opportunity to further grow the business events industry in Cape Town”. The expanded Cape Town International Convention Centre is playing “a significant role” in attracting large events.”
Danny Bryer, director of sales, marketing and revenue for the Protea Hospitality Group, says one of the fastest-growing inbound tourism segments “has been the MICE market — which people underestimate”.
He says the top performing areas are Johannesburg and Cape Town, and to a smaller degree Durban. “We have seen huge success in Century City” in Cape Town, where the group’s African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa has reported strong business travel growth.