Meetings Africa 2023 champions collaboration in tourism industry to promote economic growth
March 2, 2023317 views0 comments
By Business AM
Meetings Africa, a tourism event presenting Africa as a destination spot, has identified collaboration among stakeholders in the tourism industry as a pathway to fast-track development in the world’s second largest continent by landmass and population.
This was one of the major points of discussions at the 2023 edition of the tourism event recently held at Sandton Convention Centre,South Africa,
Fish Mahlalela, keynote speaker and deputy minister of tourism, South Africa, emphasised the importance of collaboration to fast-track development in Africa.
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In his words: “We must explore potential areas of collaboration and partnerships in the African convention and exhibition industry to achieve globally benchmarked standards.”
Mahlalela explained that Meetings Africa is a trade show that brings the African continent’s business events, products and offerings under a single roof, with a specific focus on SMMEs and their value chain to the entire tourism sector.
The deputy minister also commended the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) for securing 34 of the 79 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions for the first three quarters of the year. The secured bids, he said,are estimated to contribute 288-million rand to the South African economy between 2022 and 2025.
One of the highlights of the event was the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDAy), which featured tourism industry experts, disruptors, and data specialists.
BONDay, according to the organisers, is an educational opportunity for newbies and seasoned campaigners in the tourism sector to share ideas, engage and collaborate.
The overarching motif for this year’s BONDay is centred around storytelling, with renowned storyteller and poet, Gcina Mhlophe setting the scene for delegates with an authentically African story.
BONDay also included the first African edition of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Summit, as well as the standing feature which is the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Association Day.
This year, Meetings Africa said it has improved access for small businesses to the trade show by introducing the “plug and meet” pavilion, which offers full access at a reduced rate.
In addition, BONDay delegates were spoiled for choice, with over 30 experts across four stages tackling current industry challenges and ideating towards innovative solutions to propel the industry and the continent.