SA Tourism hosts Meetings Africa to promote Africa’s business sector | The Citizen

The 17th edition of Meetings Africa – a gathering of Africa’s various stakeholders brought together by South African Tourism – will this year be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from 27 February to 1 March 2023.

The meeting sets out to create a platform that will help to forge partnerships by offering various opportunities to meet face-to-face with the most influential buyers in the world.

According to the organisers, Meetings Africa has a global, hosted-buyer programme for optimal interaction between buyers and exhibitors.

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South African Tourism partnered with all nine provinces to host Meetings Africa familiarisation pre and post tours for hosted-buyers and media to experience South Africa’s business events facilities and establishments.

Speaking at the Meetings Africa 2023 media launch, South African Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer, Themba Khumalo, explained that this year’s Meetings Africa will, for the first time, host the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Summit.

He explained that this Africa chapter of the AIPC Summit was born out of a partnership between the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a business unit of South African Tourism and the AIPC.

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“The entire global tourism sector has been through a really rough time in the last two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic but we are back with renewed energy and we are motivated to build and grow our sector to pre-pandemic levels and beyond. Meetings Africa aims to contribute to helping African business events players restart and grow,” he said.

To date, 275 buyers representing 45 countries have been approved to participate in the meeting. A total of 305 exhibitors representing 15 African countries are currently registered to showcase their wares this year.

Tourism’s contribution to the economy

The tourism industry has always been one of the biggest contributors to the South African economy. According to Khumalo, the cumulative arrivals of tourists for the January to November 2022 period increased by 151.9% to reach 5.0 million arrivals over the same period in 2021. Arrivals in November 2022 were at 565 758.

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“We remain optimistic for the year ahead both from a business events and leisure tourism perspective and we will continue to use our strategic platforms such as Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba in May to promote our country and in so doing contribute to business success and growth” concluded Khumalo.

Compiled by Devina Haripersad

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