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Joburg, SAACI sign MoU to bolster business tourism

The City of Johannesburg marked the second day of the SAACI 34th Annual National Congress, which took place from 19-20 May at the Indaba Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre (and virtually), with the signing of a collaborative agreement with the association in an effort to restart business tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Free-Photos via
Free-Photos via Pixabay

"As host city, and in collaboration with our industry partners, Johannesburg is thrilled to be providing the platform for not only 'Changing Gear – Inspiring Change', in line with this year’s SAACI National Annual Congress theme – but also as a role player in building confidence in business events, along with industry learning, growth and collaborating," says Geoff Makhubo, executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, councillor.

"Joburg is indeed the right and ideal destination to be seeking opportunities for networking, identifying future business prospects and collaborative initiatives.

"We are proud to have been awarded this bid and to be the host city of such a significant business gathering during this period where we are gearing towards restarting tourism."

While promoting Joburg as Africa’s premier business and lifestyle tourist destination on all marketing platforms, locally, regionally and internationally – the current administration is dedicated to creating an enabling environment to achieve economic growth and improve investor confidence in Johannesburg.

This collaborative arrangement will serve as a strategic intervention to turn around business tourism and help the city improve its economic performance in relation to Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions or Events (MICE). It will be implemented over a period of three years with effect from the date of signing, to achieve common goals intended by both the public and private sector of the destination to improve goodwill and competitiveness.

"As the executive mayor of the city, I am making an undertaking right here in front of all industry patrons that I am available to endorse all catalytic MICE initiatives that will result in job creation and SMME development," says Makhubo. "I am doing this as a sign of ensuring goodwill to partnerships of this nature with organised business."

As a strategic MICE intervention, the collaboration will be underpinned by the following elements:

• Co-bidding and mutual coordination
• Enterprise development
• Research, statistics analysis and intelligence
• Business events promotion and sales activity
• Work opportunities
• Youth learning
• Joint collaboration for MICE strategic initiatives

"If we embark on this journey in spirit of collaboration with positive intentions, Johannesburg will improve its MICE competiveness in Africa and globally," says Makhubo.

"As a result of this partnership, we should be able to improve on our International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) annual ranking. 2019 saw us in 6th place after Cape Town (South Africa), Kigali (Rwanda), Marrakech (Morocco), Nairobi (Kenya) and Cairo Egypt). Watch the space - we are working towards becoming market leaders through partnerships like this because we need to remain globally competitive to attract MICE business."

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