South Africa: Still in the Spotlight

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CapeTownThe year 2010 is proving to be the year of golden opportunities for South Africa as a nation. On the heels of hosting 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP, the country is still in the spotlight as it prepares to be a part of the global tourism stage as host to two international destination events. South African Tourism chairman Jabu Mabuza stated that 2010 is a year of immense importance for South Africa. 

In addition to the glory of hosting the World Cup, a very significant part of 2010 World Tourism Day celebrations will be held in South Africa this year. The country will also be the destination where, for the first time in the history of South Africa, over 350 of the world’s travel trade decision makers from countries around the world will be visiting as delegates for the most important Mega-FAM Trip – The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 2010 International Sales Conference.

The city of Cape Town will be the host for both of these gigantic travel events. Cape Town has certainly been at the center of the world stage this year, garnering many awards as a must-visit world city.  It is hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world by Forbes and listed as one of the most iconic cities on the planet by National Geographic. Famous for its natural harbor, Cape Town is the tourism capital of South Africa, receiving the largest number of tourists of any South African city. Both the World Tourism Day events and The Travel Corporation (TTC) 2010 Conference provides an unprecedented opportunity for the global travel industry leaders to experience the essence and value of Cape Town and South Africa.

These two international conferences are monumental event meetings in the tourist industry. World Tourism Day is an annual celebration initiated by UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), to create an international awareness of the role and value of tourism with regard to social, economic and environmental factors. The Travel Corporation Conference is an event that brings together its globally leading key personnel and sales managers in travel, encompassing its different brands and businesses from around the world.

The Travel Conference 2010 Conference will be held in Cape Town from October 3-8.  This conference will bring together 350 of the top leaders in the tourism industry who make vital decisions concerning destinations competing on the global tourism stage. Many of these top tourism professionals are in sales which is good news for South Africa because at least half of them reportedly sell South Africa as a destination to clients, which translates to potential for 100 percent destination growth for the country just from this conference alone. Delegations coming to the country include representatives from the U.S., Australia, UK, Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland, Canada and Asia.

Even though China’s Guangdong Province is the host the World Tourism Day this year, the peak of this annual celebration will take place in Cape Town from September 24th (Heritage Day) to September 27th (UNWTO World Tourism Day). Calling it ‘My Cape Town Weekend’, the whole city is preparing for the World Tourism Day weekend, which has the theme of tourism and biodiversity. The theme of biodiversity speaks directly to Cape Town, which relies heavily on its natural and cultural resources to attract visitors. “Biodiversity is a large part of what makes Cape Town a beautiful and authentic place”, says CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du-Toit Helmbold. “Tourism has the potential to create innumerable jobs and contribute to community development in general.”

In addition to meetings, forums, and celebrations, tourism leaders from both of these events will have firsthand opportunities to see, taste, touch, hear, and feel the essence and beauty of Cape Town as well as South Africa. This presents a golden opportunity for the city and the country to position itself as a top tourism destination in the global community.