By SYDNEY MORWENG
IT is back and promises to get the best out hospitality as the 2011 Meetings Africa get under-way from February 21 to 23 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
This gathering of hospitality players’ focuses on the business tourism industry, and also affords the perfect opportunity to learn about new ideas, innovations and products relating to the business of tourism.
Of course, it also offers the ideal chance to interact with key decision makers from both local and other continent.
“Meetings Africa is the only Meetings Incentives Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) gathering in southern Africa and has over the years become a valuable, focused and incredibly powerful platform to raise the region’s profile as a quality incentive and conference destination, “says Thandiwe January-McLean, Chief Executive at South African Tourism.
Since its introduction the Meetings Africa has become one of the money-spinners for the emerging entrepreneurs and ideal to foster business relations with counterparts, particularly the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa.
According to industry players’ this is crucial for hospitality think-tanks when addressing issues such as how to improve their services, hospitality, infrastructure, combat crime development of the economy, economic meltdown, job creations, etc.
Apart from the gathering, social events such the inaugural Meetings Africa Golf Day is going to be a highlight, bringing together the tourism industry and private companies in a relaxed and productive way and the Association Day will be an excellent sharing platform for national associations to get together, if not, lazing around.
National Convention Bureau aimed at attracting large international meetings and sporting events to the country will be launched as well.
January-McLean said after hosting a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup™, South Africa has proven its capability to host an event of any magnitude, and Meetings Africa 2011 will reinforce the notion that South Africa has the infrastructure and the capacity to host the world’s big events.
The gathering of this year will also add an environmental aspect to it.
We are extremely proud to have embraced a global trend by ‘greening’ this year’s exhibition, says January-McLean.
“With a new Match-making Programme delivering guaranteed pre-scheduled appointments, Meetings Africa 2011 promises to be bigger and better, allowing for 3 full days of business interactions,” she said.
“Meetings Africa allows event planners to explore all the destination offerings under one roof, keeping them up to speed on the latest trends, developments and ideas.”
At the end of the gathering, the eventual winners should be the SMME.