20 May 2014

SANCB sharpens its edge in Europe and Asia

The appointment of Gaining Edge will help SANCB position South Africa’s business events capabilities and track record in the all-important Asian and European markets

Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Executive Manager: Conventions Bureau Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Executive Manager: SANCB

Twenty years after democracy, and three years after the establishment of the SANCB, the country now occupies a place as Africa’s preferred destination for meetings and conferences.

THE SOUTH AFRICA NATIONAL CONVENTION BUREAU (SANCB) today announced the appointment of leading consultancy firm, Gaining Edge. The firm specialises in the global business events industry, incorporating meetings, conventions, incentives, exhibitions and events.

The appointment of Gaining Edge is set to help strengthen South Africa’s business events profile and grow business in Asia, specifically China and India – two critically important business events markets for South Africa.

“South Africa has come full circle as a business events destination. Twenty years after democracy, and three years after the establishment of the SANCB, the country now occupies a place as Africa’s preferred destination for meetings and conferences,” says Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.

“Appointing Gaining Edge is a natural extension of our strategy to grow our presence in key countries in Europe and Asia. We are excited about the appointment of Gaining Edge whose services and expertise, we believe will fast track our profile and presence on the Asian continent,” he says.

To ensure the successful implementation of its mandate, Gaining Edge has partnered with two business events experts who will represent the SANCB in China and India – the two key growth markets.

Arrivals to South Africa from both China and India have been on an upward trend. China in particular, has become one of South Africa’s largest overseas tourist markets – driven by the direct Beijing to Johannesburg SAA flights.

India has emerged as the world’s fastest growing outbound market. The UNWTO has forecast the growth of the Indian market to reach 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.

“The numbers say it all. We have the visitors from these countries. There is opportunity aplenty for us to show them South Africa’s superb infrastructure, tried and tested capabilities, a track record we are proud of and possibly, most importantly, a dedicated business events tourism sector that is able to deliver their meetings and conventions need in a timely, cost effective and professional manner,” says Nzima.