Jozi gears up for Meetings Africa

Johannesburg’s reputation as Africa’s business capital is to be highlighted once again as the City of Gold steps up to host Meetings Africa from 21-23 February 2011.

Joburg Tourism Company (JTC) – together with bid partners SA Tourism (SAT) and the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) – is optimistic that this year’s expo will be the best ever, reflecting the huge gain the city has made as a business tourism destination.

The Johannesburg Convention & Events Bureau – a division of JTC – remains focused on aggressively promoting the City as a leading global destination for business tourism, seeing this as a key driver for economic growth and development.

Lindiwe Kwele, Joburg Tourism Company CEO, says: “This year we anticipate welcoming an increased number of exhibitors, media, visitors and 150 international hosted buyers to the expo. We look forward to showcasing our City in line with our ‘Rediscover Joburg’ destination activation campaign.”

“The action in Joburg certainly never stops and hosting a successful World Cup spectacle has been a defining moment for us,” adds Kwele. “Joburg took centre-stage with great acclaim – we really excelled at showing all our guests a fabulous time Jozi-style. Indeed, there’s been a positive paradigm shift for our city when it comes to perceptions of everything from lifestyle appeal to safety and security.”

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“Now it’s incumbent on us to seize the opportunity to maintain the momentum and continue showcasing Joburg as never before in the face of increased overseas media interest and positive perceptions. What’s more, the World Cup has left us with a legacy of not only improved infrastructure and unique transport features (like the high speed Gautrain and the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system), but increased hotel inventory and spectacular stadiums we need to fill.”

Joburg, also known as Jozi or Egoli, is the economic powerhouse of Africa, and gateway to many parts of the world. Over 55 international airlines link the city to major centres worldwide, making Johannesburg one of the most accessible centres on the continent.

One of Johannesburg’s major competitive advantages is its international recognition as the business and commercial capital of the African continent. Given its accessibility by air (55 international airlines fly in to Joburg), 75 percent of corporate headquarters are now based in the city. It is also the only city in South Africa that boasts four of the venues capable of hosting more than 5,000 delegates, so its success as a tourism destination hinges on business.

“Joburg is Open for Business – and we have the capacity to host events across a spectrum of size, scope and price.  Our conventions bureau & events team is also primed to assist with supplying all the necessary advice and support services relating to meetings, conventions, exhibitions and incentives”, says Kwele.

“Johannesburg is a versatile business and mega-events destination, capable of handing a vast array of events – from small meetings to massive international gatherings, conventions, concerts and sports tournaments.  When people think events, they should think Joburg!”

The City’s illustrious track record for hosting significant international events is lengthy and includes the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), as well as more recently, Soccerex, the 60th FIFA Congress, the World Sports Destination Expo, the 26th International Pediatric Association Congress and the 23rd Colloquium for African Geology.  Forthcoming international meetings and events secured include International Small Business Congress in 2012 and the 4th World Conference on Doping in 2013.

Now proudly taking its place as Africa’s second largest city, Joburg is growing at an unprecedented rate – constantly and continuously transforming itself. It’s seen not only as the economic hub of the Continent, but also as offering a plethora of cultural, leisure, sporting, fashion and lifestyle activities that is fast making us the leading destination for both leisure and business tourists. Joburg’s legendary shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife is complimented by fabulous weather as well as an astonishing array of facilities like spectacular golf courses, gyms, spa’s, wellness centres which add to its appeal as a destination. /ends

Visit the JTC website http://www.joburgtourism.com” target=_blank”>www.joburgtourism.com
for a listing of the multitude of events taking place in Jozi.