Gauteng Province and its Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) in Johannesburg have won their bid to host Meetings Africa for the next five years. The venue had previously hosted the event for 12 years.
The show returns 26-28 February 2018 to the SCC.
“We would like to thank all the bidding tourism authorities for their submissions, and congratulate the province of Gauteng on winning the right to host Africa’s largest business events trade show. We look forward to continuing with our strong partnership with the Gauteng province and once again showcasing the province’s world-class venues and infrastructure for meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and events (MICE),” said Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism.
“Through this partnership, and as we continue with our efforts to achieve our strategic goal of five million more tourists in the next five years, we will also reinforce Meetings Africa’s status as Africa’s premier business and professional events trade show committed to positioning and of course growing the number of business events hosted on the African continent,” Ntshona added.
Between 2013 and 2017 Meetings Africa has hosted over 1,000 international and regional buyers, 1,336 exhibitors and over 7,000 visitors.
Meetings Africa 2018 will take place from 26-28 February.
Ravi Nadasen, chief operating officer, Hotels, at Tsogo Sun, said the Tsogo Sun Sandton Mile, incorporating three hotels and the SCC, said his venue was proud to have been selected to host Meetings Africa and accommodate delegates for a further five years.
“Meetings Africa has always been a signature event on the SCC calendar and we’ve no doubt that it will continue to grow in stature and in numbers in the years to come.” Minister of tourism, Derek Hanekom said at Meetings Africa 2017 that 58m international tourists arrived in Africa in 2016, an increase of 8% over 2015 stats. Sub-Saharan Africa led the growth, with an 11% increase.
The UN World Tourism Organisation is confident that international tourist arrivals in Africa will grow by between 5% and 6% in 2017.
Travel and tourism now contribute around 3.3% to Africa’s GDP and supports over 9m jobs directly or 3% of total employment.
Eighteen African countries were represented at Meetings Africa 2017, which attracted 298 exhibitors, 177 international hosted buyers, 57 African association hosted buyers, and 126 local corporate hosted buyers.
“South Africa is steadily moving up in the confex rankings and is placed 15th in the ICCA global ranking for long-haul business events, and first for business events in Africa and the Middle East,” Nadasen added. “We are delighted that our partnership with Meetings Africa will see our country, and our continent, through the forthcoming years of development as an ideal confex location for global exhibitions and conferences.”