South Africa rises as a business events destination

Sandton Convention Centre. Image supplied by SA Tourism

Sandton Convention Centre. Image courtesy SA Tourism.

South Africa has moved up two places on the ICCA (International Congress and Conventions Association) rankings list as a business event destination of choice –  and is now in 32nd position as per the 2014 polls (from 34th position in 2013).

When it comes to the business events industry, the ICCA rankings are the holy grail and most reliable gauge in determining how business destinations perform in the lucrative business events industry. According to the South Africa National Convention Bureau,  the ICCA rankings are the yardstick by which international associations and corporates measure a destination’s business event hosting capability. On every level, they are an excellent endorsement for a destination, and meetings, conferences and conventions are major money-spinners for any country.

Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at South African Tourism, was thrilled at the announcement earlier on in May. He said of the latest ICCA rankings, “It is an empirical reflection of growing confidence in South Africa and a confident indication that we may expect our share of the global market to grow. In 2013, South Africa hosted 118 international and regional business events. That number rose to 124 in 2014.”

South Africa’s 2014 ICCA ranking places the destination ahead of Hong Kong, the UAE, New Zealand and Morocco. The USA was ranked highest, followed by Germany, Spain, the UK and France. South Africa is the highest ranked destination in Africa and the Middle East. However, other African destinations showed excellent results. Kenya was ranked 68th, Egypt was ranked 75th and Senegal was ranked 79th.

The 2014 ICCA rankings reflect excellent performance of South Africa’s cities, too. Cape Town remains the most successful (and popular) South African city for business events, ranking 41st on the 2014 ICCA list. Cape Town hosted 58 international and regional association events in the year.

Johannesburg, that was ranked 136 in 2013, has improved its ranking by a remarkable 35 places to be ranked 101st in 2014. Durban is ranked 125th in 2014, tied with the cities of Auckland, Basel, Bordeaux and Montpellier.

Theatre, Cape Town Convention Centre. Image by CTICC.

Theatre, Cape Town Convention Centre. Image courtesy CTICC.

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