South Africa is recognised as one of the fastest-growing destination choices for "business tourism", (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions - MICE).
According to the latest figures, business tourism contributes R21bn (approx £1bn) to South Africa's economy per annum and sustains approximately 260,000 jobs. In order to stimulate further growth within the industry South African Tourism, in collaboration with partners MM & Company, The Inside Edge, are sponsoring two, four day familiarisation trips.
One for ten UK conference buyers and one for ten UK incentive buyers to experience South Africa's Business Tourism product in Johannesburg, Cape Town and the Western Cape. These familiarisation trips are part of a much wider initiative to expose more than 60 Conference & Incentive buyers to South Africa this year.
The first trip will focus on the conference facilities on offer in Johannesburg and Cape Town and the second on the incentive offer in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Both trips will offer the participants a chance to take part in some uniquely South African experiences.
South Africa is a country with overwhelming natural beauty and first world conference and incentive facilities. Additionally, it can offer companies the opportunity to do business with a more unusual touch.
The "Business Unusual" concept offers companies an insight into a truly South African way of doing business by incorporating traditional cultural concepts into modern management that incorporate principles of ubuntu (humanness), a word only found in African society.
Both the of groups travelling to South Africa as part of this initiative will have the opportunity to experience different elements of "Business Unusual" concepts and find out more about how these concepts can be integrated into their meetings and events.
Commenting on the trip, Patricia D'Arcy, Business Tourism Manager UK, for South African Tourism said "As the business travel industry grows at a rate faster than leisure travel, South Africa already ranks within the top 35 conventions destinations in the world. This is a ranking that we are very eager to improve on.
This initiative is part of South African Tourism's Business Tourism Initiatives programme. By working closely with our Destination Marketing Company, Airline and product partners, we are able to expose South Africa's potential as "the" business tourism destination of choice to the UK market." "In order to do this, we know that we need to expose key buyers to South Africa and provide them with firsthand experience of South Africa's unique "Business Unusual" product offerings in the conference and incentive sector. Participants on these familiarisation trips will be given the opportunity to try many of the experiences on offer within the country in order to help them develop the right conference and incentive programmes for their clients."