Since the final whistle blew at Soccer City, now known as the FNB Stadium, South Africa has been riding a tidal wave of success post World Cup. Ridding itself of a myriad of stigmas, perceptions and folklore amongst international visitors, the country has finally proven to the world that it's capable of exceeding expectations.
To serve as a catalyst for further promoting South Africa as a world-class host of international, large-scale events, Thebe Exhibitions and Project Group (TEPG), supported by SA Tourism (SAT) and the Department of Trade & Industry, will be hosting a Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) conference and exhibition between 27 and 29 July at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.
"The World Cup has left an indelible mark on the South Africa landscape, and we now boast a number of world-class stadiums begging to be used. Right now, the key is to ensure that we continue to steamroll onto the world's agenda and further position South Africa's providers and product owners as top of mind in the international community. This will ensure they choose South Africa as the host country for their next event," says Carol Weaving, managing director of Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group.
With this in mind, the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange will offer a comprehensive International Hosted Buyer programme, funded by the Department of Trade & Industry and South African Tourism, giving international buyers the opportunity to visit the exhibition and interact with exhibitors through pre-scheduled meetings, conference sessions and networking events. The key objective of the programme is to connect international buyers with local service providers and product owners.
"SETE is a first in South Africa, and will provide exhibitors and visitors with a unique platform to network and interact with both local and international industry leaders. The aim is to promote South Africa as the beautiful and prosperous country that international organisers and tourists fell in love with during the FIFA World Cup and encourage them to host their future events on South African soil," explains Weaving.
South African Tourism's latest research proves the necessity and relevance of a confex such as SETE. The 2010 Confederations Cup and Lions Rugby Tour attracted approximately 52 000 visitors, contributing an estimated R669 million to South Africa's economy. More than 90% of these visitors indicated that they would return to the country, and that they would recommend the destination to others.
"We strongly believe that SETE will encourage collaboration between the tourism and sports industry and create awareness around the sports and tourist attractions of our beautiful nation. South Africa has a culture of never backing down, and I believe that SETE will motivate our country and its people to assume this die-hard approach when it comes to the bidding process for large-scale, international events," concludes Sugen Pillay, global manager for events, South African Tourism.
About Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE)
The Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) is unprecedented in South Africa and all members of the South African Sports, Events and Tourism industry will have the opportunity to market their products and offering. The SETE offers a comprehensive International Hosted Buyers program which is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and driven by South African Tourism.
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