The CTICC yesterday welcomed South Africa’s national Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, and provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, at the Joint Association Member Meeting (JAMMS) where members of associations within the industry discussed economic development within the sector.Members of Cape Town Tourism, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA), the Southern African Association for Conference Industry (SAACI), and Southern Africa Tourism Service Association (SATSA), and government role players met at JAMMS to discuss issues such as operating licences, visas, disruption in the industry, new tourism trends and greater integration between authorities. Delegates were welcomed by CTICC Chief Executive Officer, Julie-May Ellingson, who placed emphasis on the importance of the JAMMS gathering, and highlighted how government initiatives can assist in supporting the industry. “We acknowledge that Tourism remains one of the biggest employment sectors in the Western Cape. It is for this reason that we are proud to host events such as this JAMMS discussion workshop. These sessions provide an important opportunity for government and industry to identify what we, as a collective, can do to increase the value tourism adds to our economy.” “We are also heartened by the R110 million bidding fund that Minister Hanekom announced at Meetings Africa last month. Having access to funding and support will enable us to put forward stronger bids in the association market and expand the country’s market share in the international conference segment,” said Ellingson.
Minister Winde, who provided one of the keynote addresses, delved into the economic benefit business tourism has on the local economy.“Tourism is one of our fastest growing sectors and employs 204 000 people in the Western Cape. Annual foreign direct spend is worth R17.2 billion. We know that business tourists have a higher spend than leisure tourists. Each conference delegate spends an estimated R3 210 per day, according to Wesgro. Since 2014, we have secured bids worth R645 million. This has delivered significant growth and job creation benefits,” said Minister Winde. With the CTICC’s expansion set to open later in the year year, Minister Winder noted the additional value the expansion will bring. “The expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which is jointly funded by a range of stakeholders including the Western Cape Government, is also set to double the centre’s existing exhibition capacity. We will see an increase in the number and size of conferences resulting in more business travellers to our region,” Winde added.