The tourism industry, particularly the MICE sector, has been at the forefront of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The sector has seen the cancellation of many conferences and big events on South African shores and globally. In response to the pandemics impact on the industry, the ICCA is re-imagining the future of global events by transforming the congress into a hybrid experience.
Tim Harris, Wesgro's chief executive officer, says: "The safe re-opening of air connectivity to international corporate and leisure travel is key on our agenda, and we hope to welcome all delegates from around Africa safely to the Mother City in November.
"With the recent Proof of Concept Conference, the business tourism sector successfully demonstrated how the industry is well equipped to continue business in a safe and responsible manner. We look forward to demonstrating from touch down, to conference, to take off, how prepared the industry and greater value chain is to resume business."
Chief executive officer of ICCA, Senthil Gopinath adds: "This years’ congress is the first hybrid experience that ICCA will host and we’re excited to be able to offer delegates the opportunity to join from a regional hub. The South Africa National Convention Bureau and the Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, after submitting a combined bid, was selected as our regional hub hosts in Africa because of their commitment and dedication, and we trust that they will support us in providing an excellent programme and experience for our delegates in this region."
Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer of the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) concludes to say that winning the bid is a major achievement for the country and the continent of Africa. "Our role as SANCB is to ensure that we integrate the African continent business events under a singular strategic positioning of "Advancing Africa Together" which aims to market Africa as an ideal business destination and showcases Africa’s readiness and capabilities to host world-class business events for the industry.
"We must kick start international tourism as the country gears up to open its boarders again for international travel in 2021."
Attendees, partners and the general public can join in the host destination Kaohsiung, virtually or in one of ICCA’s seven regional hubs; Cape Town, Kuching, Latin America, Luxembourg, Malaga, North America, Riyadh.