Joburg has recently came 101st in the 2014 ICCA Global and Africa rankings. ICCA Rankings are announced annually by the International Congress and Convention Association, based on the number of rotating international association meetings hosted in a particular destination.
PR and communications manager at Joburg Tourism Laura Vercueil answered a few questions on how this impressive climb affects Joburg as a premier event destination.

What do you think is the reason for Joburg’s continued improvement in the ICCA rankings?

From a Convention Bureau perspective, the main reason for this is the concerted effort the team has put into working even more closely with the trade and industry representatives to support, attract, bid for and submit records of the international association meetings taking place in Joburg, which the ICCA rankings are drawn from.

What are some of the major conference facilities and events that have established Joburg as a premier event destination thus far?

The city of Joburg can comfortably host any event – from small, professional meetings to mega global conferences and sporting events. There are approximately 130 venues in Johannesburg, varying in capacity, including the four biggest which are capable of accommodating over 5000 delegates.

“The Big Four” are the Johannesburg Expo Centre (Nasrec), Gallagher Estate (Midrand), the Ticketpro Dome (Northgate) and the Sandton Convention Centre. Moreover, we have the accommodation stock to match – from ultra-deluxe hotels to B&B’s.

Some of the high profile events include UNCTAD IX, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD 2002), the World Solar Congress, and more recently the C40 Mayoral Summit of Climate Change, the Metropolis Congress, One Young World Conference, World Orchid Conference & Exhibition, Social Media Week, Discop Africa Summit, CIDESCO Global Congress and the International Women’s Forum.

This year the city will, among other international events, host the EcoMobility World Festival, which will coincide with the City’s Transport Month, from 1 to 31 October, and the seventh edition of Africities Summit, which will be held in December and is expected to be attended by 5 000 delegates from the rest of Africa and the world.

What makes Joburg the ideal destination to hosts events?

Joburg boasts impressive business events credentials in anyone’s book. Aside from all the major international business and sporting events hosted here since the mid-90’s, Joburg is home to increasing hotel inventory and an abundance of superb convention facilities, all supported by a well-established and growing service sector and impressive infrastructure.

This includes unique transport features like the Gautrain, Rea Vaya BRT and of course, OR Tambo International Airport, which is the country’s most important travel hub.

In addition, Joburg is seen not only as the economic hub of the Continent, but also as offering an abundance of cultural, leisure, sporting, fashion and lifestyle activities that is fast making us the leading destination for both leisure and business tourists.

 Is there anything you would like to add?

We trust this this is just the beginning of a growth trajectory, which will take our city to even greater heights as a premier global events and leisure tourism destination.

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