Cape Town and the Western Cape Convention Bureau has secured 24 business events to the value of over R1bn - an amount which has surpassed the annual target of R260m. Meetings secured are expected to attract 32,080 delegates between May and September.
"This is an exceptional achievement as we emerge out of a challenging year. These results highlight our resilience as a province. The more meetings we host in the destination, the more opportunity we have to grow and build on our local knowledge economy," commented Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.
Unit wins include the team securing their first exhibition bid by landing the Agricultural Technology Exhibition and Conference (Agritech 2020) scheduled to take place in June 2020. With an estimated 800 international exhibitors and delegates expected to attend the event, the exhibition aligns to the provincial economic stimulus strategy know as project Project Khulisa - which has identified agri-processing as a priority sector.
Medical wins comprise the International Astronomy Union of General Assembly; the International Hepato Pancreato Binary Association World Congress and the International Association for Pediatric Dentistry.
The Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) Edge and Global Leadership Conference (GLC), which takes place in upcoming months is expected to attract 3,000 of the top CEO's in the world to Cape Town. The event creates opportunity for the province to expose investment opportunities and trade in the Cape.
According to research by Grant Thornton conducted in 2015 and 2016, the exhibition industry contributes R66,5bn to South Africa’s GDP, contributing R3bn to national taxes and 135 100 sustainable jobs. In addition during this period, trade exhibitions generated a total spend of R4,950,086, with the day visitor spending an average of R1,972 and the non-local day visitor, R1,505.
Driving unique venues in different regions
Reflecting on the past six months, Wesgro’s head of the convention bureau, Corne Koch pointed out: "One of the goals of our unit is to drive meetings into the regions outside of Cape Town and the Western Cape. It has been promising to see an uptake in the use of different and unique venues in different regions."
MEC, Beverly Schäfer, commented: "This is an exceptional achievement by the Convention Bureau, which will make a contribution towards growing our tourism economy, bringing thousands of visitors to our province in the traditional low season. By developing and growing our business tourism and conferencing sector, we will be able to create new jobs and showcase the province to attending delegates. We look forward to welcoming all these delegates to our province."
Executive mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato added: "Even through challenging times, Cape Town remains open for business, and I’m pleased to see the results of our efforts and the hard work of our partners paying off, because with every big convention or event that is hosted in the City of Cape Town we see ongoing job creation and skills development opportunities being provided for our communities.”