The first annual Sports & Events Tourism Exchange has opened at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Owned and managed by the Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group (TEPG) and supported by South African Tourism (SAT), the event will showcase South Africa’s experience and expertise in hosting and managing large international events.
In line with South Africa’s sports tourism strategy, which was compiled by SAT and the former department of environmental affairs & tourism in 2006, the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange will take the form of a cutting edge exhibition and an intensive one-day conference focusing on institutional arrangements for aligning the management and marketing of events in South Africa.
The event will also offer a comprehensive international hosted buyers programme that is co-funded by the department of trade & industry and driven by South African Tourism.
TEPG managing director, Carol Weaving, explained the event will be crucial in aligning the sports and tourism sectors in South Africa.
“Sport provides an added attraction in the tourist offering and now, post World Cup 2010, we should capitalise on this.”
Delegates arriving for the first day of Sports & Events Tourism Exchange in Cape Town
According to the Sports Business Journal, sports marketing is a US$250 billion industry.
It includes sports related advertising and venue signage, athlete endorsements, facility construction, sporting goods and licensed merchandise, event management and marketing services, sponsorships and ticket sales, media broadcast rights and multimedia.
Research conducted by SAT indicates that more than ten percent of foreign tourists come to South Africa to watch or participate in sports events, with spectators accounting for 60 to 80 per cent of these arrivals.
The contribution of sports tourism to the South African economy is estimated to be approximately R6 million.
Weaving added the timing of the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange is particularly apt, as South Africa’s successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is fresh in the minds of decision makers in tourism and sports across the world.
“The aim is for the exhibition to make a real contribution to increasing tourist volumes to South Africa, as well as increasing tourist spend and length of stay,” she added.
“It should also assist in optimising the use of our world class sports facilities, including our new stadiums.”
Exhibitors at the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange will include sports marketing companies, sports management companies, sports bodies and agents, sports sponsorship companies, destination marketing and management companies, stadiums and other venues, event and exhibition management companies, tourism associations and authorities, brand activators and marketers of sporting goods.
The event will be preceded by a targeted marketing campaign.
“We will facilitate a seamless match between exhibitors and visitors,” added Weaving, “so that the exchange translates into real business and actual, measurable growth in sports tourism.”
Visitors to the exhibition and conference delegates will include marketing and brand managers, sponsorship managers, advertising executives, public relations agents, events managers, sports agents and managers, incentive travel companies and professional conference organisers.
Sports tourism is the fastest growing sector of the market
World Sports Tourism Conference
As the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange illustrates, sport and tourism are booming.
In recent years the integration of sport, sporting events and spectator and participation travel has seen sport tourism become the industry’s fastest growing sector with an estimated value of $600 billion a year.
To both reflect this staggering growth and contribute further to it, World Sports Tourism Conference has been confirmed for October this year, during the Rugby World Cup.
In partnership with TUI Travel Specialist & Activity Sector, the event presents an unmissable opportunity to join the pre-eminent decision makers, strategists and visionaries from the global Sport and Tourism industries.