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.
According to the UNWTO, the global events industry is worth an estimated US$487 billion annually, with an expected growth rate of 3.7 per annum between 2008 and 2017. However, according to the Union of International Associations, Africa has only 4.5% of the international association meeting market share, while the 2008 ICCA rankings said that South Africa has just 1% of the meetings market, so there is still much room for growth.
Exact statistics on what the South African events industry is worth are notoriously hard to come by. The most widely used figure is that the local industry is worth an estimated R21 billion. However, the highest figure is from the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa, which claims that the exhibition industry alone generates R74.3 billion in direct expenditure. The lowest figure comes from the Department of Arts and Culture, whose research shows that the industry turned over at least R5 billion between January 2004 to June 2005.
For four weeks starting on 9 June 2010, South Africa will be the centre of the eventing world as it hosts the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. The 2006 World Cup in Germany was the most extensively viewed event in television history and South Africa 2010 is expected to draw even bigger audiences. The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup alone is expected to create 129 000 jobs, contribute around R21 billion to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) and generate another R7.2 billion in government taxes, with around 350 000 visitors expected to spend around R10 billion in the country during the tournament.
Cape Town was named Best Incentive Destination by the UK's Conferences and Incentives (C&IT) Magazine in 2009.
Cape Town won the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category in 2009.
At the 2009 World Luxury Hotel Awards, The Cape Royale won the All Suite Category, while Lion Sands won the Luxury Game Lodge category.
Bushman's Kloof was named the World's Best Hotel by Travel+Leisure in 2009.
The Saxon was named the World's Leading Boutique Hotel for the seventh time at The 2009 World Travel Awards, where Shamwari was named the World's Leading Safari and Game Reserve for the 12th time. Other South African winners included: Shamwari (Conservation Company), Thanda (Luxury Lodge), and The Blue Train (Luxury Train).
Design Indaba was named Best Conference in the World at The Meeting and Incentive Industry Awards, held at EIBTM in 2005. In 2007 at the same awards, the Norgine Conference at Sun City won the same prize.
Gearhouse South Africa was named Favourite International Production Company at the 2008 Total Production International (TPI) Awards.
South African scooped six Crystal Awards at the Society of Incentive Travel Executives Conference in 2007.
Oppikoppi came fourth in the UK Daily Mirror's list of the Top Ten Music Festivals Outside Britain in 2008.
Melody Trip named The Cape Town International Jazz Festival the fourth best jazz festival in the world in 2006.
Big Concerts was nominated as International Promoter of the Year in 2006 by Pollstar and later placed 21st in Pollstar's list of the top 100 promoters internationally.
By Word of Mouth won Best Themed Menu and Presentation at the 2008 Catered Arts Through Innovative Excellence (CATIE) Awards.
The Inside Edge was named Best Destination Management Company at the Meetings and Incentive Travel Awards in 2006.
The Event Core's volunteer programme at the World Petroleum Congress was nominated for an ISES Esprit Award for Event with a Legacy in 2006.
Tequila Johannesburg won a Bronze Cannes Lions for their Toot 'n Scoot promotion
In 2008, Drum Cafe performed at the opening of the Beijing Olympics, while The Soweto Gospel Choir performed at the Oscars in 2009.
South Africa has successfully hosted major events like: The World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), the Cricket World Cup (2003), The President's Cup (2003), Fina Swimming World Cup 25m circuit (2003), Women's World Cup of Golf (2005-2008), the Paralympic Swimming World Championship (2006), A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport (2006-), World Diabetes Congress (2006), Twenty20 World Championships (2007), The FIFA Confederations Cup (2009), The DFL Indian Premier League (2009 and hosted on just three weeks notice), and ICC Champions Trophy (2009).
The frontier of travel South Africa regularly appears in travel industry awards and at the top of tourism polls. For example:
Readers of the UK’s Daily and Sun Telegraph voted Cape Town as their Favourite World City, with South Africa cracking the top four in the list of the Best Destinations on Earth.
Readers of Travel & Leisure Magazine voted Cape Town the third best city in the world in 2008, with an average rating of 86.59%.
National Geographic Traveler named Cape Town one of 50 Places of a Lifetime.
iExplore.com, one of America’s most popular online travel guides, ranked South Africa second in its list of the Top Ten World Travel Destinations.
Readers of The New York Times named South Africa one of the Top Twenty Places to Go in 2009.
The UK’s Times newspaper, in collaboration with bestselling guidebook publisher DK Eyewitness Travel, included Cape Town in their top ten cities to visit in 2009.
South Africa was the most popular destination among British gap year travellers in 2008.
At the 2008 World Luxury Hotel Awards, South Africa won six categories and had 21 finalists. The Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa was named Best Luxury Coastal Hotel in the World; The Palazzo Monetcasino was named Best Luxury Casino Resort; Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa was named Best Luxury Boutique Hotel; Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge was named Best Luxury Lodge; Sabi Sabi Private Game Lodge was named Best Luxury Game Lodge; and De Hoek Country House was named Best Luxury Country House in the World. South Africa was home to the winner and all the finalists in both the Luxury Game Lodge and Luxury Country House categories.
At the International Luxury Awards held in Lugano, Switzerland, Cape Town was awarded top honours in the Best Entertainment Category.
At the 2008 World Travel Awards, Pride of Africa: Rovos Rail was voted the World’s Leading Luxury Train; Shamwari Game Reserve was voted the World’s Leading Conservation Company and the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve; and The Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa was voted the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel. In the Africa category of the awards, South Africa took home 17 of the 24 awards.
Table Mountain is one of the finalists to become one of the New7Wonders of Nature
Readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine voted Singita Sabi Sands and Singita Kruger National Park the Best Hotel in the World for the third time in 2008, a new record. Readers of Conde Naste Traveller agreed.
South Africa featured in the UK Herald’s list of the top 10 best value-for-money holiday destinations.
The Country Brand Index Report named South Africa ninth in its Value for Money brand category, not to mention sixth in its Authenticity category.
The readers and editors of TheNew York Times even agreed that South Africa is the definitive destination for "affordable luxury," saying our country is fast "becoming one of the best bets for American travellers looking for high-end experiences at relatively low-end prices."
Winchester Mansions, a beachfront boutique hotel in Cape Town, came 26th in the Top 100 Best Value listing of Budget Travel Magazine and TripAdvisor.
The 2008 Ethical Traveler Report named South Africa as one of the developing world’s Ten Best Ethical Travel Destinations, based on our commitment to environmental protection, social welfare and human rights.
Phinda Private Game Reserve, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve were all included on the latest National Geographic Adventure list of the 50 top eco-lodges.
Tswalu, the largest private reserve in South Africa, won the Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award in 2007.
The Ethisphere Institute even voted Cape Town one of the ten cities in the world most likely to become global sustainability centres.
Le Quartier Francais in Franschoek was voted the best restaurant in the Middle East and Africa in the annual S. Pellegrino list of the World’s 100 Best Restaurants. La Colombe in Constantia, Jardine’s and Aubergine in Cape Town, and Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch all cracked a nod in the listing.
Doing Business 2008, a joint publication of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, ranked South Africa 35th out of 178 countries for ease of doing business – ahead of Spain, Brazil and India.
South Africa is also the 35th best place in the world to do e-business, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2007 E-Readiness Report.
South Africa ranks fourth in the world for auditing and reporting standards, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009.
"The lovely thing about South Africa is that you can mix business with pleasure. You’ve got the most beautiful game reserves and coastline, the most fantastic wineries, and some of the best restaurants in the world. Our experience of South Africa has been second to none." Richard Branson, business icon
"If I were 29 or 39 ... or even 49, I would pack up everything and move here… The country is exquisite. I lost my voice in Cape Town, which I think was because I was in a permanent state of gasping with wonderment." Anita Roddick (RIP), founder of The Body Shop
"This country, South Africa, changes you. It is the new frontier of travel. It is a destination for all the people of the world. I love the warmth of its sunshine. I love its wild spaces, its people, its cities and its attitude to make things go right." Franz Beckenbauer, German football legend
“The stadiums look superb and we are also very impressed by the number of security personnel that will be deployed to secure the event and by the country’s track record in hosting major events. To have a World Cup in Africa is something many of us have dreamed of for years and without a doubt entrusting South Africa with the 2010 Fifa World Cup has been well placed.” Geoff Thompson, England’s former Football Association chairman
"I thought this final draw would be well organised but I did not know it would be so well organised." Brazilian World Cup winner Cafu
"I have no doubt in my mind that the world will be surprised by what South Africa has to offer. I believe everyone is going to get a huge wake up call when they see what South Africa is capable of." Gary Mabbutt, former England soccer star
"Come to South Africa. It is an experience you will never have expected. There will be dancing and singing and vuvuzelas being blown in the stadiums. It is going to be a massive party the likes of which the world has never seen. South Africa is the place to be." Horace Burrell, Jamaican Football Association president
"Cape Town is amazing. I could live there. In fact, I plan to move there one day." Michael Kenneth Williams, star of The Philanthropist and The Wire
"It's hands down the most beautiful place I have ever seen." Dennis Iliadis, director of Last House on the Left
"Johannesburg is Milton Keynes with thunderstorms. You go out. You have a lovely ostrich. You drink some delicious wine and you walk back to your hotel, all warm and comfy. It’s the least frightening place on earth." Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear presenter
"I loved it here. Cape Town is very beautiful." John Malkovich, actor, Disgrace
"I think this country is absolutely fabulous. I’m completely blown away by it and it’s been a really enriching and life changing experience for me." Hilary Swank, actress, Red Dust, Amelia
"I’d never been to Prague or Cape Town before and I was absolutely blown away, particularly with South Africa. Culturally and socially it’s a phenomenal place. It’s incredible to be in a country where things have changed so quickly over the last 15 to 20 years that you can actually feel it on the street. The time we’ve spent in South Africa has been gold for me. I’ve met some people that I’m sure will be life-long friends and I’ve been introduced to cultures that I want to learn more about. For me, being a black person, to be able to spend a major amount of time in Africa is a really big deal. People in the States always talk about how much they want to go to Africa, so I feel so lucky that I got a job which took me there." The Philanthropist actor Jesse L. Martin
"South Africa is an absolutely beautiful country and the people are amazing." Neve Campbell, actress on The Philanthropist
"I had never been to Africa before and I was bowled over by the beauty of the city and the spirit of the people. I think Cape Town is one of the most spectacular cities in the world. Its geographical features are breathtaking. Every day I woke up there and I was in awe of the city; it never gets old. The vibrancy of the city and the people really give an added energy to the show. I could go on and on about how much I love the city." Actress Lindy Booth (The Philanthropist)
"It’s a beautiful country, the way the light falls here in Africa. It’s a high adrenaline experience being in Africa." Nicolas Cage, Lord of War actor
"I wake up every morning and see the beautiful sunrise. It’s different every day; it makes the city (Cape Town) almost artistic. It’s a magical place." Salma Hayek, actress, Ask the Dust