South Africa tops many people’s holiday destinations list and is the tourism hub of Southern Africa. The country experienced a 10.2% tourism arrivals growth in 2012, one of the highest in the world that year and received 9,188,368 international tourist visitors in 2012, however only 5% of foreign arrivals were made up of business travellers. On average these travellers spend three times more than leisure tourists. So what will attract increasing numbers of business travellers to this emerging economy?
Until only a few years ago Johannesburg was known as being a dangerous destination with certain areas of the city advisably avoided. Now 75% of corporate headquarters in South Africa are based there and the city has a fresh feeling of urban regeneration. In 2010, South Africa held the World Cup and undertook substantial rejuvenations in nine host cities. The Government allocated a $1.5 billion dollar grant for public transport and infrastructure. Amongst this was the Gautrain System created to carry football fans from OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton, Johannesburg. This development has transformed the city and now links further south to Rosebank and Park Station in the centre, with future plans to connect to Pretoria, 31 miles away.
Johannesburg has four main convention centres with capacities ranging from 5000 to 20,000 people, these being the Gallagher Convention Centre, Sandton Convention Centre, The Coca-Cola Dome and the Expo Centre, perfect for international meetings. Outside of Johannesburg and its many venues, there’s the International Convention Centre Durban amassing 100,000 sq. ft. and the Durban Exhibition Centre. With these facilities it’s no surprise that South Africa acquired 87 international association meetings over the next five years. This may not sound a lot, but the estimated economic impact could exceed 2.6 billion Rand and attract 195,900 delegates to the country. The future of South Africa is bright and it might just be the next place on your business travel list – don’t forget to take a look at our South Africa serviced apartments for your trip.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Generic License.
Image: jen&co (Creative Commons Licence)