Joburg shines in Meetings Africa spotlight

Lindiwe Kwele

Industry pundits say Johannesburg’s reputation as a premium business destination is secure following a series of successful events and bid wins.
Thanks to the largely positive coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa was put on the map for MICE planners, with Johannesburg taking centre stage.

“Dealing with perception has been a big challenge,” Johannesburg Tourism chief executive Lindiwe Kwele told media.

“But [since the World Cup] there’s been a positive paradigm shift for our city when it comes to perceptions of things from safety to lifestyle.”

Home to four venues capable of hosting over 5,000 delegates and host to this year’s Meetings Africa, Johannesburg is the gateway to and from business tourism, Ms Kwele said, and they want to share the love.

“Now we want to expand the economic spread.

“We are a guidepost for the rest of the country and bring hope to the rest of Africa.”

It was not only the improvements to the city’s infrastructure and the facilities offered, it was the ‘Jozi-style’ that left its mark on foreign delegates attending Meetings Africa 2011.

“Joburg is the New York City of Africa,” Business Tourism South African Tourism global manager Nomasanto Ndlovu said.

Delegates were quick to agree, entertained by a catching music and a dumbfounding performance at last night’s Networking night, poet Lebogang Mashile saying: South African style “is the very liquid soul that pours out of us…and when we move to any groove…rhythm makes blood run”.

To see photos from last night, click here.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A
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