Gearhouse Group has announced the renaming of their Training facility to the Kentse Mpahlwa Gearhouse Training Academy with the aim of furthering the legacy left by late Gearhouse director and colleague, Kentse Mpahlwa.
Meetings Africa 2011 welcomes a continent ready, willing and capable of doing business
Thandiwe January-McLean, CEO of South African Tourism welcomes a buoyant, optimistic African business tourism community to the eighth annual Meetings Africa. She says:
South African Tourism is confident Africa’s premier business tourism exhibition will once again be an invaluable opportunity for the entire African and business community to interact and explore mutually beneficial opportunities.
With a legacy of improved infrastructure and a reputation for dependable, world-class delivery, South Africa has also been buoyed by its invitation to become the newest members of the economically influential bloc of Brazil, Russia, India and China and the exciting business opportunities the BRICS partnership potentially brings.
Now the challenge is to ensure that promise - and the infrastructure legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup - translates into tangible business tourism conversion.
The tourism industry contributed an estimated 7.7% to South Africa’s gross domestic product in 2010 and the role of business tourism is an increasingly important one. In his State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma for the first time recognised business tourism as one of the major contributors and potential job creators for the South African economy.
Meetings Africa 2011 looks to encourage exhibitors and hosted buyers to interact and experience first-hand the exciting opportunities that exist in the continent’s meetings, exhibitions and conferencing industry.
South Africa has secured almost 200 meetings set to attract more than 300 000 delegates over the next five years. We are honoured to be hosting events this year, such as The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) and a major meeting of the members of the International Olympic Committee, that are not only exposing South African capability to global leaders, but that are shaping global decision making. With its ability to attract global events of such a major scale, business tourism is indeed well positioned to be an integral part of the tourism industry going forward.
For the first time ever, Meetings Africa 2011 will be audited for by the independent sustainability consultancy, Icologie - a bold step in ensuring that we remain sustainable and environmentally conscious of our impact on natural resources. History will be made at Meetings Africa 2011 when nine events and conferencing stakeholders come together to sign the first constitution that will pave way for the industry in the greening of exhibitions in South Africa.
SA Tourism – and in particular our Business Tourism Unit - has been hard at work fine-tuning and improving this event over the years to ensure that we remain leaders in providing innovative and relevant platforms to enhance your Meetings Africa 2011 experience. I am confident that we have made great strides in facilitating easier and faster networking platforms. We look forward to welcoming you all back to our country, together with your business associates, in the near future.
Thandiwe January-McLean, South African Tourism CEO