Business Tourism to bring R 40 million to Stellenbosch in next two years
On the right is Annemarie Ferns, CEO of Stellenbosch 360, and some of the speakers and delegates at the Business Tourism Indaba in Stellenbosch on 13 June 2017.
1st Stellenbosch Business Tourism Indaba a huge success
The 1st Stellenbosch Business Tourism Indaba, fully booked with more than 200 attendees and media present, was indeed a huge success. Speakers of format included Bruce Redor of GainingEdge in Paris, a global specialist on the positioning of cities as business/conference/ events destinations.
Local South African representatives, speakers and role-players involved with the tourism industry included Sisa Ntshona as CEO of SA Tourism, Tim Harris as CEO of WESGRO, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo as Chief Bureau Officer of SA National Convention Bureau, Prof Leopold van Huyssteen as COO of Stellenbosch University, Mayor Gesie van Deventer and Municipal Manager Geraldine Mettler of Stellenbosch Municipality respectively, Corne Koch as Head of Cape Town and WC Convention Bureau, Saartjie Botha as CEO of US Woordfees and Zelda Coetzee-Burger as Business Tourism Consultant for Stellenbosch 360.
Sisa Ntshona in his address gave the assurance that the aim to further develop and stimulate business tourism in the Stellenbosch region has the full endorsement and support of SA Tourism. He emphasised that aggressive growth here was an important aspect of SA Tourism’s strategy to draw 5 million more tourists to South Africa in the next few years.
Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo from the SA National Convention Bureau highlighted the following statistics regarding the extent and importance that business events already have for both South Africa and Stellenbosch as a region:
- For the next 2 years (2017/18), Stellenbosch already has 8 association/events/conferences confirmed – equating to 47 days with ± 2000 delegates visiting and generating R40 million in income for the region.
- The South African business events industry, with its present venues totalling 2620, already supports on average some 252 000 direct and indirect jobs – and contributes in total over R115 billion to our country’s GDP annually.
- SA’s smaller towns are key to aggressively bid for African Associations meetings (± 100 – 200 delegates) - smaller international meetings will help to improve the geographic distribution of tourism beyond the major centres, and spread these events more equally.
- The Bidding Fund that was announced in Feb 2017, allocates R 90 million over the next 3 years & will assist cities & towns to aggressively bid for conferences, meetings, incentives & exhibitions.
Big potential for Stellenbosch
Annemarie Ferns, CEO of Stellenbosch 360, was overjoyed with the outcome of and the enthusiastic support for the Indaba. She commented: “I believe that after 5 years of hard work, we now have both the buy-in and mandate from the key local role-players in tourism and the relevant national institutions, as well as a solid strategy on the table to position Stellenbosch as a Living Conference, Event and Incentive Destination. That, complemented by all our town’s wonderful people assets and renowned and established tourism attributes, can and will make an enormous impact on the future of our town and region’s economical growth".