According to Zelda Coetzee, chairperson of the Western Cape branch of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), Cape Town being named as the World Design Capital 2014 is likely to have a significant impact on the city's conference and meetings industry, which could come from the global creative community over the next couple of years.
"When making a decision of where to host an international design meeting or event, the name Cape Town will most definitely come up."
She says Cape Town is also likely to be mentioned more frequently in the international media. "This will give us huge exposure and draw not only leisure tourists, but more meetings and international delegates."
The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks Cape Town as the number one conference destination in Africa and the Middle East. The city is also a member of BestCities Global Alliance, which consists of convention bureaus that deliver the world's best service experience for international meeting planners. Other alliance members include Dubai, Melbourne and Vancouver.
"Valuable word-of-mouth marketing"
The expected exposure should also benefit South Africa, as major meetings and conferences usually include pre or post tours for delegates. "These events also result in very valuable word-of-mouth marketing with many delegates bringing back their families to experience the destination.
"SAACI looks forward to working with the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau to use this opportunity to grow the conference industry," she concludes.
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