Industry experts at Meetings Africa - the annual showcase for South Africa’s business tourism - tackled the issues facing business tourism in today’s current climate.
The panel of experts included Roshene Singh, Chief Marketing Officer South African Tourism, Daniel Levine, industry expert from the USA and Thomas Overbeck, Chairperson of SAACI.
(left: Rochine Singh Chief marketing Officer of SA tourism)
(Above: Daniel levine,Industry Expert and Thomas Overbeck Chairperson of SAACI)
The experts agreed that South Africa had much potential as a business tourism destination and would reap the rewards of the FIFA 2010 World Cup for many years to come. But they also warned that South Africa is likely to suffer in the short-term as a result of the global financial crisis.
(Above: Lebohang Mokhesi from South African Tourism, Miller Matola ICC Durban, and Lindiwe Mahlangu from Johannesburg Tourism Company)
Levine said: “The South African MICE market will prove to be resilient with strong partners such as South African Tourism.” He added that although the weaker players in the industry will probably be eliminated, it would be good in the long run, creating businesses that are in stronger positions with less competition.
(Above: Graham Cooke, President World Travel Awards and Miller Matola CEO of ICC Durban)
Zuffi said that at present, the long-haul positioning of South Africa might be a downfall. “At present, companies need to appear transparent and will not be able to justify spending large amounts on long-haul destinations, causing a shift to more regional tourism.
Incentive travel organisers should shift their focus to the local markets, said Thomas Overbeck. “South Africa has over 1,500 associations and companies should look to these to capitalise on.”