CATHSSETA (Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, Sports Sector Education and Training Authority) have recently joined this years Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) conference (12-13 September) as naming sponsors. As one of 21 SETAs (sector education and training authority) in South Africa, the partnership of CATHSSETA with the high profile SETE conference is sure to bolster what is already shaping up to be an influential event, featuring the National Sports Tourism Steering committees presentation of the national sports tourism strategy, as well as presentations, debates and discussions with a number of high profile international and local speakers.

CATHSSETA are indeed a fitting sponsor for the conference, which itself looks to stimulate the exchange of ideas that will enhance the sport, tourism, and event industries in South Africa. According to Mike Tsotetsi, CATHSSETA CEO, following South Africas successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, sports and events tourism was identified as one of the biggest avenues to be pursued and supported in order to boost South African tourism and contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Tsotetsi also said that CATHSSETA has a responsibility to facilitate skills development within South Africa by creating strategic partnerships to ensure a meaningful contribution to economic growth across our sports tourism and other sectors. The SETE conference is an existing platform which attracts important decision makers and key industry stakeholders, and our involvement therefore ensures that we have the opportunity to promote our objectives by engaging with the relevant audience at a proven successful annual event.

In support of these objectives, CATHSSETAs primary aim is to create an environment that allows the youth better employment opportunities through skills development and training within the sports tourism industry, whilst also addressing the shortage of skills in critical areas. CATHSSETA is looking to realise the governments priorities of social cohesion and economic growth through tourism and sport, both of have been identified as playing a catalytic role in attracting global tourism for South Africa, and therefore the SETE conference has value for CATHSSETA as it presents a platform for the sharing of ideas around issues central to the sports tourism industry.

According to Director for Business Development at TEPG and SETE Conference Director Sugen Pillay, as the official training authority for sport and tourism, CATHSSETAs participation in this years SETE confirms the importance of skills development within the sports and tourism industries. Major international sports events like the Olympics demand high levels of service excellence and therefore CATHSSETAs role will add value to the industrys attempts at bringing more international events to South Africa, one of SETEs core objectives.

Held at the ICC Durban later this year, both the SETE conference and exhibition (12-14 September) will look to facilitate relationships between South Africas tourism, sport and event industries and promote the country as a popular sports and events destination. To this end, the SETE exhibition will feature an estimated 100 exhibitors as well as over 60 international hosted buyers (IHBs), whilst the conference programme will include presentations and panel discussions anchored by keynote speakers who are all specialists within their respective fields. The National Sports Tourism Steering committee that was appointed at last years SETE conference will also be presenting the national sports tourism strategy at the conference, outlining the key sports events which SASCOC and its partners will be bidding for until 2030. Focused on identifying the key events which will require governments support between 2013 and 2030, the plan will be discussed and finalized at the conference.