Joburg joins global destination alliance

The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a force for socially responsible and green travel, and provides joint marketing and branding opportunities in primary and secondary markets, which are ideal for small- to medium-sized destinations that may not have the resources for developing and implementing projects independently. Members include countries, regions, and cities, with the most recent founding member to join this special alliance is the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC).

“We are delighted to have been invited to join the ICTP alliance as a founding member,” said Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) CEO Lindiwe Kwele, “This move aligns perfectly with our strategy of entrenching Joburg’s position as Africa’s leading global year-round lifestyle destination. Joburg is on a roll ,and as the city’s destination marketing organization, JTC works to entrench Joburg’s position as the African continent’s premier destination for business and leisure. We need to remind the world out there that Joburg represents a great mix of global credentials and African soul - always sizzling with energy and opportunity!”

All the positive global media coverage and the tourist experiences in Joburg during the World Cup, have resulted in a global paradigm shift about Joburg and issues concerning safety and security, public transport, infrastructure, as well as its appeal generally as a destination for both business and leisure travelers. The R200 million worth of bids secured by Johannesburg recently for large conferences and meetings, is a reflection of this increased international investor, association, and consumer confidence in our city.

“Now we need to maintain this interest and momentum, encouraging not only increased business and leisure tourism, but also investment and other business opportunities in the city,” said Kwele, “While we encourage business visitors to ‘stay another day,’ our messaging to potential investors is ‘Visit, Buy, Invest in Joburg,’ as the opportunities are there for the taking.”

ICTP Chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz said: “ICTP is delighted to welcome Johannesburg as a new founding member. I recently visited Johannesburg and was able to be accommodated by the Mayor to have a first look of this exciting city of opportunities for the tourism and MICE sector. The rapid expansion of our founding member base shows destinations are excited to find ways to work together. As of today, we have received requests from potential members from regions on all continents.”

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World Cup preparation and legacy projects have served to change the geopolitical face of Johannesburg. On a broader macroeconomic scale, the city now boasts increased hospitality and tourism products, an integrated public transport network, world-class transport infrastructure upgrades, and better connectivity.

Aside from Joburg’s accessibility as the continent’s leading transport hub, the location of two major stadia in the city, positions Joburg favorably as a pre-eminent destination for sports tourism and mega-events. “As the successful launch of the Gautrain has exceeded expectations, we also need to leverage this fact as part of Joburg’s positioning as a global destination of choice for business, leisure, cultural, sports, and lifestyle events tourism,” said Kwele.

“There’s always something to get excited about in Joburg,” emphasized Kwele, “The phenomenal range of development projects, initiatives, and public realm management - not to forget the continuous tourism product development - is awe-inspiring and serving to change the geo-political face of our city in a positive way.”

Joburg boasts excellent infrastructure, unique transport features like the high speed Gautrain and the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system, increased hotel inventory, spectacular stadiums, and magnificent architecture.

Current founding members in include other regions in Africa. They include the Seychelles, La Reunion, and Zimbabwe.

The ICTP alliance is represented in Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA; Brussels, Belgium; and Victoria, Seychelles. For more information, go to: www.tourismpartners.org.