Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) has been busy preparing for the inaugural Sports & Events Tourism Exchange to celebrate its position as the leading business, sports and mega-events destination in Africa.
Taking place from July 27th-29th, the event will focus on the world-class facilities and services that South Africa has to offer as a host for all top level international events and the exchange between sports tourism and the events industry.
What Role for Johannesburg
In the face of tough global economic conditions, Johannesburg Convention & Events Bureau - a division of the JTC - remains focused on aggressively promoting the city as a leading global destination for business, sports and events tourism, as it is a key driver for economic growth and development.
Hosting the lion’s share of the 2010 FIFA World Cup fixtures and activities, Joburg was at the epicenter of the spectacle and rose to the occasion, pulling out all the stops to give visitors the experience of a lifetime.
The location of two major stadiums in the city – along with four additional training stadiums – positions Joburg favorably as a pre-eminent destination for sports tourism and mega-events.
With seating for 94,000, Joburg’s flagship FNB Stadium - known as Soccer City during the World Cup - is the largest in Africa.
Johannesburg was one of the stars of the show during FIFA 2010
“A fabulously successful World Cup ensured that the world experienced our capabilities and hospitality firsthand,” said JTC chief executive Lindiwe Kwele.
“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 our city’s accessibility as the continent’s leading transport hub, the location of two major stadia in the city positions Joburg favourably 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,” she added.
Sports Scene in Johannesburg
Great weather and world class facilities conspire to make Joburg one of the world’s most active sports centres.
Joburg’s annual sports and events calendar includes an impressive array of diverse international events – from the Joburg Open Golf Tournament and the ATP SA Tennis Open in January to the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge and the Sansui Summer Cup in October and November.
Aside from regular rugby and football fixtures during the winter months - including the PSL Soweto Derby - the City also hosts the Soweto Open tennis tournament in April, as well as the Inanda Africa Cup Polo tournament in July.
Lindiwe Kwele, chief executive of the Johannesburg Tourism Council, will promote the city later this month at the inaugural Sports & Events Tourism Exchange
Moving into the MICE market
JTC’s aggressive marketing strategies on the global bid circuit are bearing fruit, with an impressive line-up of international events – with an estimated economic benefit to the city in excess of R200 million - set to take place in Joburg over the next three years.
Tenpin Bowling World Champions - November 2011.
4th Annual Mr Gay World Competition - 2012
59th CIC General Assembly - 2012
The International Small Business Congress - 2012
The Europe Africa Business Summit - 2012
The World Anti-Doping Congress - 2013
The 18th Agility World Championships - 2013
The 21st General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association - 2014
Incentives to Travel
During the past six months, JTC has hosted three large groups of medical professionals from India – during their two day stay over in Joburg - on incentive trips to South Africa.
“This is a low volume, high return market sector and the increased business we have seen in the past six months gives credence to our positioning of Johannesburg as a sought-after lifestyle destination with diverse product appeal,” added Kwele.
“Joburg is certainly making strides in its reputation and developments of this nature indicate that it is indeed on the radar as an appealing destination among DMC’s and international associations.
“However, the challenge remains to increase visitor arrivals, as well as length of stay, spend and geographic spread of visitors throughout our culturally diverse city which has so much to offer.”
Johannesburg is already considered one of the most exciting destinations in Africa
Also in Africa today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Johannesburg.
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.City.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.