Businessmen and women are bound to spend time on leisure while in country, says Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom.
Cape Town - Business tourism provides spin-offs to leisure tourism for every delegate visiting South Africa, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom told delegates on Thursday on the opening day of the 2018 Stellenbosch Business Tourism Indaba at the Cavalli Wine and Stud farm, located between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

The event ends today.

Hanekom said Stellenbosch had something really extraordinary to offer and should become a destination of choice.

He said there were no less than 150 wine estates in the area.

“That’s extraordinary, every one of them is special, every one of them is unique, every one of them is beautiful, a variety of different wines,” said Hanekom.

He added that the area also had no fewer than 200 restaurants and a diversity of experiences.

On business tourism, in terms of meetings and conferences, he said the area had seen impressive growth.

The growth of the sector had been quite extraordinary with a forecast for 2018 of 54 bids, which translated to 30000 delegates and translated to almost R1billion.

Looking ahead to 2022, he said the figure was set to double to 103 events, 100 000 delegates and R3.5bn.

This was huge and the spin-offs were even bigger.

Every businessperson and congress delegate was bound to do a bit of leisure tourism while visiting.

Hanekom said everyone should get involved to promote Brand SA.

“Be the change-agent in whatever you do,” he urged.

Hanekom said five pillars applied to tourism growth and business tourism in the country.

These included: destination South Africa; visitor experience; make it easier to visit South Africa; marketing South African tourism and inclusive growth.

The indaba was hosted by Stellenbosch 360, the local tourism authority, with the National Convention Bureau and the Cape Town Convention Bureau.

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Cape Argus