Trade News

Business Tourism Boost for Western Cape

Wesgro – Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency – is pleased to announce that the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, a unit of the Agency, has secured 2600 expected delegates in the second quarter of the 2017/18 financial year (July – October 2017), emanating from four new successful bids. This is estimated to have an economic impact of R37 million.

If one combines the results from the first and second quarter (April – October 2017), the bureau has secured 18 new bids with an estimated economic impact of R157 million for the destination,

Business tourism is an important component of the Western Cape’s economy. Not only does it bring in delegates from around the world who will spend money in our province, it also contributes significantly to the knowledge economy. This has an important impact on the investment potential of our region, as influential individuals, with important networks, are able to experience the diversity of opportunities on offer in the Cape.

The four successful Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) bids secured in this quarter will all take place during low season (May – September) and are broken down as follows:

  • International Wikimania Conference (September 2018) with an economic impact of R9 630 000
  • SpaceOps International Congress (May 2020) with an economic impact of R10 272 000
  • 15th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (July 2021) with an economic impact of R10 272 000
  • Volvo Trucks Corporate Incentive Group (September 2018) with an economic impact of R6 876 000

The Convention Bureau services include delegate boosting, hosting, lobbying and onsite support to new and existing clients, with nine such engagements taking place in the quarter.  The bureau also organised and hosted four site inspections.  All of the hosting was done prior to the bid being awarded, which meant the site inspection was an important determining factor as to whether or not a destination is fit to and able to accommodate the bid requirements. 

Twenty-nine (29) stakeholder engagements were also conducted, including attending the Stellenbosch 360 Business Tourism Development meetings and a hosting of a Legacy Workshop.

In addition, the team attended the:

  • International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Meetings Programme, Japan 1-5 July 2017
  • ICCA Africa Chapter Client Workshop, Pretoria, 20 – 21 July 2017
  • SITE Youth Conference, Cape Town, 7 August 2017
  • Annual Society for Incentive Travel Executives (SITE) Summit, 22 September 2017.

Chief Marketing Officer at Wesgro, Judy Lain, said: “On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the South African National Convention Bureau for their support. It would not be possible to land these important conferences without their contribution and help. And of course, the industry itself deserves a special mention. They remain the backbone of the business tourism sector in the Cape.”

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “I am extremely impressed by the determination demonstrated by our convention bureau team. They are strengthening the business tourism industry, and helping grow the economy and create jobs, every single day. The fact that bureau is currently researching 93 leads, which should they be converted, would have an economic impact exceeding R2 billion is proof of this.”

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the figures were excellent news for the Western Cape’s tourism sector.

“This is another indication of steady growth in our tourism sector. Projections for tourism arrivals for December and January also show a five percent year-on-year increase. We know business tourism is a lucrative niche, and that many business tourists often return for leisure with their families. I am encouraged by the news that the Convention Bureau has already submitted a further 13 new bids to the value of R134m.  I’d like to commend the team for their commitment to growing tourism, and our reputation as a world-class business destination,” said Winde.

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