An Ind­aba in SOUTH AFR CA

This coun­try is brim­ming with op­tions for MICE with su­perb in­fra­struc­ture, ex­otic lo­cales and a stim­u­lat­ing cul­ture that can leave vis­i­tors in awe of the des­ti­na­tion

Micetalk - - Destination - Hazel Jain

South Africa un­der­stands busi­ness tourism. For years, it has hosted mil­lions of del­e­gates at­tend­ing meet­ings, con­gresses, ex­hi­bi­tions, busi­ness events, and in­cen­tive travel. Its tourism in­dus­try, has be­come a key pri­or­ity for the gov­ern­ment in re­cent years, and it is hop­ing that by tar­get­ing busi­ness travel, the num­ber of MICE events will in­crease over the next five years.

SOUTH AFRICA NA­TIONAL CON­VEN­TIONS BUREAU

Founded in 2012, South Africa Na­tional Con­ven­tions Bureau (SANCB), acts as a on­estop shop for meet­ing plan­ners and MICE travel or­gan­is­ers con­sid­er­ing an event in South Africa. SANCB's In­dia of­fice brings a sim­i­lar fo­cus and ef­fort to sup­port and boost MICE of­fer­ings in In­dia, with a range of ser­vices such as bid sup­port, des­ti­na­tion ex­per­tise, build­ing at­ten­dance, con­ven­tion plan­ning sup­port, on­site event ser­vices, pre and post meet­ing itin­er­ates. With the ob­jec­tive of ‘Ad­vanc­ing Africa To­gether', Meet­ings Africa is the per­fect plat­form hosted by SANCB. The trade show is de­signed to con­trib­ute to the growth of Africa's po­ten­tial as the world's fastest grow­ing and most sought-af­ter busi­ness events des­ti­na­tion.

AMAZ­ING AT­TRAC­TIONS

South Africa is an ex­cit­ing op­tion for meet­ings, with more than 1,700 con­fer­ence venues in­clud­ing large con­ven­tion cen­ters lo­cated in top ur­ban cen­ters like Dur­ban, Jo­han­nes­burg, Cape Town and East Lon­don which ef­fec­tively cater to events of any type. The main con­ven­tion cities in South Africa are Dur­ban (KwaZulu-Natal Prov­ince), Jo­han­nes­burg (Gaut­eng Prov­ince), Cape Town (West­ern Cape) and East Lon­don (Eastern Cape).

GAUT­ENG PROV­INCE

Jo'berg hosted Africa's big­gest con­fer­ence to date, the 2002 World Sum­mit on Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment. An es­ti­mated 40,000 del­e­gates, in­clud­ing about 190 heads of state, were spread across three of the city's premier venues: the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, the Expo Cen­tre, and the Wan­der­ers Sta­dium. Gal­lagher Es­tate in Jo­han­nes­burg has a ca­pac­ity of 5,000. The Tick­et­pro Dome (pre­vi­ously known as the Co­caCola Dome and MTN Sun­dome) venue lo­cated in the north of Jo­han­nes­burg has a seat­ing ca­pac­ity of ap­prox­i­mately 20,000. It is cur­rently man­aged by Thebe Ex­hi­bi­tions.

KWAZULU-NATAL PROV­INCE

Dur­ban's Inkosi Al­bert Luthuli In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre or pop­u­larly called ICC Dur­ban is one of the largest in the coun­try. It can han­dle con­fer­ences of up to 15,000 del­e­gates.

This venue hosts the an­nual Ind­aba travel trade show. In 2001, it was the venue for the United Na­tions' World Con­fer­ence Against Racism.

WEST­ERN CAPE PROV­INCE

A multi-pur­pose con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre in the hub of Cape Town's busi­ness and en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre, the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre (CTICC) has an ex­ten­sive range of pre­mium venues, ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties.

It is able to cater for con­ven­tions of up to 10,000 del­e­gates. The CTICC is the first con­ven­tion cen­tre in Africa to gain three in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised man­age­ment sys­tem cer­ti­fi­ca­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and the first in the world to align its re­port­ing to the sus­tain­abil­ity re­quire­ments of the Global Re­port­ing Ini­tia­tive (GRI).

South Africa has more than 1,700 con­fer­ence venue cen­ters

HO­TEL OP­TIONS GALORE Cape Town

Taj Cape Town: It has 176 grand lux­ury rooms and suites. The rooms are of 355-527 sq ft (33-49

sq m) while the suits are 688-1,173 sq ft (64-109 sq m) in size.

MEET­ING VENUES

ABC BAR is a unique bar with high ceil­ings and mu­rals with a max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 50. Ad­der­ley is ac­ces­si­ble from an­other of its venue called Par­lia­ment and has a max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 24. Cathe­dral can ac­com­mo­date 54 pax. An­other venue called Founder can host cin­e­mastyle events and can fit around 50 peo­ple.

Par­lia­ment can be used for board­room set-ups or pri­vate af­fairs with a max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 36. St-Ge­orge's is ideal for el­e­gant ban­quets or con­fer­ences with a ca­pac­ity of 100 peo­ple. The Bankhall has a max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 300, The Board­room, with a grand maple ta­ble, can fit 12, The Vault can ac­com­mo­date 80 peo­ple, and fi­nally Wale which is is per­fect for an in­ti­mate gath­er­ing can fit in eight.

Jo­han­nes­burg

The Res­i­dence Bou­tique Ho­tels: For busi­ness groups, it has con­fer­enc­ing venue that can seat 20 del­e­gates and is well-equipped with pro­jec­tor and video con­fer­enc­ing tools.

Dur­ban

Hil­ton Dur­ban: It has 327 rooms, and newly ren­o­vated ex­ec­u­tive rooms and suites that al­lows ac­cess to the Busi­ness Lounge. The ho­tel of­fers a dy­namic busi­ness cen­ter, a fully equipped state-of-the-art fit­ness cen­ter and a grand ball­room for spe­cial oc­ca­sions.

Sun­coast Tow­ers: This bou­tique beach­front ho­tel is lo­cated close to pop­u­lar at­trac­tions like uShaka Ma­rine World, the Dur­ban Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, and the city's Golden Mile beach­front. It of­fers 36 well-ap­pointed rooms and suites. The Sun­coast Tow­ers caters for busi­ness needs and of­fers a choice of three con­fer­ence venues and flex­i­ble meet­ing spa­ces that can ac­com­mo­date be­tween 16 and 450 del­e­gates at the ad­ja­cent Sun­coast Con­fer­ence Rooms.

Other nearby con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­i­ties in­clude 14 con­fer­ence rooms at South­ern Sun Elan­geni and Ma­ha­rani, rooms at Gar­den Court Ma­rine Pa­rade and the newly ren­o­vated Gar­den Court South Beach. In Umh­langa the Bev­erly Hills also of­fers con­fer­ence rooms in its lux­u­ri­ous beach­front set­ting.

East Lon­don

Premier Ho­tel EL ICC: The East Lon­don In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre (EL-ICC) lo­cated on the East Lon­don Es­planade, in­cor­po­rates the 260-roomed Premier Ho­tel EL-ICC, as well as the ad­ja­cent 175 rooms of the Premier Ho­tel Re­gent, of­fer­ing a range of ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions to com­ple­ment the ELICC. The Premier Ho­tel East Lon­don ICC is a con­tem­po­rary de­signed ho­tel on the East Lon­don Es­planade.

EL-ICC fea­tures an au­di­to­rium, con­fer­ence rooms, an ex­hi­bi­tion area, a press room, restau­rants and two board­rooms. The mul­ti­func­tional con­fer­ence rooms are de­signed for con­fer­enc­ing, con­ven­tions and trade shows, and are able to ac­com­mo­date up to 1,500 del­e­gates, where as the ex­hi­bi­tion hall can ac­com­mo­date up to 2,100 del­e­gates.

Blue La­goon Ho­tel & Con­fer­ence Cen­tre: The ho­tel of­fers four well-equipped con­fer­ence venues which are ideal for sem­i­nars, train­ing pro­grammes and ex­ec­u­tive meet­ings.

Blue La­goon Ho­tel, in as­so­ci­a­tion with an Eco Ad­ven­ture com­pany, con­ducts team build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties on the beach.

UP­COM­ING PROJECTS FOR MICE

• Global En­trepreneur­ship Congress (GEC) in 2017 which is in­ter-dis­ci­plinary gath­er­ing of start-up cham­pi­ons from more than 150 coun­tries and at­tracts over 4000 del­e­gates. • The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Gam­ing Reg­u­la­tors (IAGR) 2017 Con­fer­ence at Jo­han­nes­burg which will bring to­gether rep­re­sen­ta­tives from gam­ing reg­u­la­tory or­ga­ni­za­tions through­out the world • 2017 The Hu­man Devel­op­ment and Ca­pa­bil­ity As­so­ci­a­tion (HDCA) Con­fer­ence at Cape Town in Septem­ber.

CON­NEC­TIV­ITY WITH CON­VE­NIENCE

De­spite be­ing long-haul, South Africa of­fers con­ve­nience when it comes to ac­ces­si­bil­ity since most trav­ellers choose to fly via Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which of­fer a wide choice of on­ward flights to South Africa. This is es­pe­cially sig­nif­i­cant for con­fer­ences that come in from mul­ti­ple In­dian cities be­cause most In­dian cities are well-con­nected to the Gulf. Ad­di­tion­ally, con­nec­tiv­ity from In­dia of­fers mul­ti­ple op­tions. At the mo­ment, a lot of In­di­ans are us­ing Air Sey­chelles to fly to South Africa via Mahe and our sources tell us that an ad­di­tional flight to Dur­ban is likely to be an­nounced soon, start­ing March next year. Ethiopian Air­lines added Cape Town last year.

South Africa of­fers visa pro­cess­ing cen­tres in 8 key MICE cities in In­dia

EN­TER­TAIN­MENT OP­TIONS

MICE groups can ex­plore South Africa's winelands with its mag­nif­i­cent views, splen­did wine farms, and ex­quis­ite Cape Dutch ar­chi­tec­ture. Here, meet­ings and cor­po­rate work­shops are com­bined with wine and olive tast­ing, vine­yard tours, horse-back rides, hot air bal­loon­ing, culi­nary tours and many more ex­cit­ing group ac­tiv­i­ties. Cor­po­rate vis­i­tors can take to the skies at var­i­ous drop zones like Mother City Sky­Div­ing, Pre­to­ria Sky­div­ing Club, Sky­Dive Rusten­burg and Dur­ban Sky­div­ing Club. To so­cialise with col­leagues, V& A Wa­ter­front is the place to be. They can head to Shimmy Beach Club for a Beach Club ex­pe­ri­ence or Asoka to spend the evening over ta­pas and wine.

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