The 84th UFI Congress in Johannesburg kicked off with words of support from South Africa’s event community.
Sisa Nstshona CEO South Africa Tourism called for a greater acknowledgement of business tourism’s effects.
“When people think of tourism they often just think of leisure. Our investment in trade shows has been strong and exhibitions are the most effective form of tourism. We’re blessed with natural resources. Commodities are not about to come back soon and the cost of mining is going up so we need to diversify. Tourism will be dialled up as we look to make more investments. Conversations with the likes of UFI help.”
Business events, he added will help manufacturing, mining, creative industries, life sciences and other sectors.
“Africa is the last undiscovered spot globally and we’re investing in infrastructure to drive this space forward. We don’t position ourselves as cheap. We’re value for money, with experiences you won’t get anywhere else. But the great people are our real secret.”
Craig Newman (pictured), CEO of JEC added that this is Africa’s time. “South Africa is ready for the power of Exhibitions. We’ve successfully held three world cups across different sports. We have the experience, expertise, people and infrastructure.
“Montgomery, Messe Frankfurt, Fiera Milano, GL events, are established here.”