12 February 2013

Record number of buyers to attend Meetings Africa 2013

With just days to go before Meetings Africa 2013, the interest from high-quality buyers has been exceptional.

Meetings Africa 2013 Meetings Africa 2013 has attracted a lot of interest, with a 67% increase in hosted buyers attending.  

The impressive number of hosted buyers attending Meetings Africa 2013 shows that global interest in South Africa as a business event host destination is growing. – Thulani Nzima, CEO, South African Tourism CEO

Almost 350 international, regional and local buyers have booked their place at Meetings Africa 2013, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 18-20 February 2013.

This is up 67% on the number of buyers that attended the event last year. It is a good indication that this year’s event will deliver outstanding business and networking opportunities to delegates – and will continue to promote South Africa as one of the world’s premier business events destinations.

For the first time at Meetings Africa, an internationally renowned buyer qualification process was put in place. Exhibitors have therefore been assured that only buyers with serious intentions to do business with Africa are attending the show. The buyer qualification system was organised by exhibition hosts, the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), which was officially launched at Meetings Africa 2012.

Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism's CEO, said the number of hosted buyers attending the event was impressive. ‘It shows that global interest in South Africa as a business event host destination is growing and that the industry can optimistically look forward to reaching the delegate and tourist arrivals targets we have set,’ he said.

Pivotal to achieving this growth is the SANCB’s strategy to advance Africa’s international standing in the global business events market. It is also the SANCB’s objective to forge more inclusive continental partnerships to realise the industry’s potential.

The aim is to transform Meetings Africa into the single most influential and biggest pan-African business event trade exhibition on the continent.

Nzima added that the plan to create a pan-African Meetings Africa platform was timeous and strategic.

'This year we want to amplify our strength as an African continent united in growing business event arrivals. The goal is to attract more regional and global business events to this continent, and in so doing increase our overall tourist arrivals,' he said.

South Africa enjoys a position as one of the top 15 long-haul destinations on the International Congress and Convention Association's ranking list, and at Meetings Africa 2013 the goal is to improve on this ranking.

The SANCB is hosting Meetings Africa 2013 in partnership with the Gauteng province and the City of Johannesburg.