The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has named Cape Town as the number one city in Africa for hosting international association meetings. This is the tenth consecutive year Cape Town has achieved this accolade, hosting a total of 53 meetings to date.
Cape Town’s ranking is followed by Johannesburg with 23 meetings, and Kigali with 21 meetings; Stellenbosch was also ranked after hosting eight international meetings last year, placing them in twelfth position.
These conferences add a significant boost to the economy of the city and province. Of the 54 meetings held in Cape Town, 13 meetings had a delegate attendance of over 1,000 attendees, with 24 of the 54 meetings held in a conference and/ or exhibition venue, and 16 in meeting facilities within hotels.
The subject matter of the meetings hosted varied from medical sciences (13 meetings), sciences (nine meetings), technology (five meetings) and economics (four meetings). Fifty percent (30 out of 54) of the meetings were hosted during the traditional low-season period between May and September, which helps address the seasonality challenge of attracting visitors to the Cape during this time. The average length of days per conference was four days.
A boost in the Cape's business tourism
Congratulating the team, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris commented: "We are extremely proud of the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, and other partners, including the South African National Convention Bureau, the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Century City Conference Centre, and other venues and hotels, who have helped maintain Cape Town as the number one spot in Africa.
"We salute the tenacity, consistency and dedication of the team in promoting the Cape, helping boost business tourism in our region."
Minister of economic opportunities, Alan Winde said: "We are delighted that Cape Town has once again proved itself to be the best conference destination on the continent which helps to cement our brand as a premier business events destination. Over 34,000 international delegates got to experience Cape Town in 2017, helping to grow our economy and create jobs in the areas of conferencing, tourism and hospitality. Wesgro’s team has also been hard at work securing some of the world’s biggest conferences which will take place in the Cape over the next few years, reflecting real confidence in the Western Cape’s abilities to host events on a large scale."
"We are delighted that Cape Town has claimed the top spot again this year which is a firm demonstration of our actions to position Cape Town as a globally, competitive business destination. We are working hard on all fronts through our investment teams and specific streams such as the Convention Bureau to attract major events and to make Cape Town the place where the world meets.
"The Cape Town International Convention Centre has played an integral part in Cape Town claiming this spot, and the recent R900m expansion of the CTICC 2 will strengthen Cape Town’s reputation as a global business events destination. With greater capacity and flexibility our CTICC will be able to attract even more events and diversify the events calendar, even more, to bring more key gatherings and meetings to Cape Town," said Patricia de Lille, executive mayor of the City of Cape Town.