Johannesburg has been celebrating a flying start to 2011 at an ITB Berlin industry networking event hosted by the South African Embassy, with the destination now looking forward to an increasingly successful 2011.
Summer got off to a busy start, with the Joburg Tourism Company’s summer destination activation campaign - Rediscover Joburg - designed to support and showcase the broad range of lifestyle options available coming on stream.
On the sporting calendar, Joburg successfully hosted the Joburg Open Golf tournament, the ATP SA Tennis Open and the Cell Cycle Tour in January and February, while there is still the Top Gear Live Prototype World Tour in March to look forward to.
This is not to forget the line-up of international performers scheduled to entertain the city during 2011. To date high profile international artists and shows include U2, Faithless, Riverdance and Sean Kingston, to name but a few.
During February, the city also hosted the prestigious Africa Fashion International Joburg Fashion Week at a variety of iconic, culturally rich, visually unique and diverse inner-city locations, where the city’s most talented designers showcased their autumn and winter fashion lines.
A fitting finale for the Joburg Fashion Week was held on the cable-stayed Nelson Mandela Bridge, featuring 92 modes models representing Madiba’s years.
The events were a precursor to the exciting AFI Africa Fashion Week, which will take place in Joburg in October 2011.
Charge d’ Affaires of South Africa, Cassandra Mbuyane-Mokone, was on hand to celebrate with JTC chief executive Lindiwe Kwele
In February, the city also played host to Meetings Africa, the premier annual business tourism expo in Africa, which exceeded expectations.
Business tourism is a key driver for tourism growth and development and Meetings Africa therefore remains a top priority for the JTC’s Convention & Events Bureau in its quest to increase Joburg’s market share of global events on the international bid circuit.
“While we are so delighted with hosting an extraordinarily successful Meetings Africa in Joburg last month – and still tallying up all our fabulous bidding leads for some 15 forthcoming meetings and events - the Joburg Tourism Company team has enjoyed a productive time at the annual ITB in Berlin this week,” explained chief executive, Lindiwe Kwele - pictured.
Lindiwe Kwele, chief executive of the Johannesburg Tourism Company, introduces Joburg at ITB Berlin with Charge d’ Affaires of South Africa Cassandra Mbuyane-Mokone
Tourism in South Africa
Johannesburg is at the centre of the increasingly powerful South African tourism offering, with tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk predicting great things for the sector.
Addressing Meetings Africa, the minister recently outlined expectations for South Africa to become a fifth BRIC nation.
He said: “Collectively, these countries are expected to outperform major industrialised economies over the next two years.
“South Africa stands to gain tremendously from our inclusion into the BRIC partnership.
“Among others, we expect that increased levels of trade and investment activity between South Africa and the other partner countries will also lead to increased business travel and business meetings.
“In addition, South Africa will be able to share and learn from these countries in terms of business tourism success stories and identify opportunities for stronger collaboration in bidding for and staging major business events.”
Briefing parliament on March 1st 2011, the minister reported South Africa recorded a 15.1 per cent increase in tourist arrivals to the country last year – thanks largely to the FIFA World Cup 2010.
“In 2010 we saw more than eight million tourist arrivals to the country, compared to just over seven million in 2009.
“This compares very well in international terms,” he added.
Figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation support the argument, showing global tourism arrivals are estimated to have grown by 6.7 per cent in 2010, which means that South Africa outperformed the global market by more than eight per cent.
Lindiwe Kwele, chief executive of the Johannesburg Tourism Council, celebrates the success of the city at ITB Berlin
Now proudly taking its place as Africa’s second largest city, Joburg has been key to this trend, with the city growing at an unprecedented rate.
At present it is seen not only as the economic hub of the continent, but also as offering a plethora of cultural, leisure, sporting, fashion and lifestyle activities.
“While our city may have been founded on a nugget of gold, it is no longer our stock exchange or being the business epicenter for a continent alone that make us famous – rather it is the diversity, vibrancy and warmth of our people, the countless cultures they represent and the infinite choices the city offers its citizens and visitors,” added Kwele.
“Jozi has become an eclectic mix of people and cultures that have combined over a century to deliver myriads of talent and services capable of enthralling even the most seasoned of cosmopolitan travelers – we invite visitors to stay, play and discover why those who live in Joburg love it – and those who visit our mighty city never forget it!”
With so much going on in the Johannesburg, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to the destination.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Joburg.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.