As part of the push to grow business tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) across Africa, industry professionals and public sector tourism officials will be attending a three-day Africa Business Tourism and MICE Masterclass in Johannesburg, South Africa from 13 to 15 June, 2018. This is an innovative Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiative being convened by Africa Tourism Partners (ATP) with the support of key industry stakeholders including Grant Thornton, South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Voyage Afriq.
This gathering is a blueprint designed to help move African tourism economies’ focus away from over-reliance on leisure to business tourism and MICE. “Hosting business events has to be one of the focal points of transformation in the tourism sector across Africa,” says Kwakye Donkor, CEO of ATP.
“It means direct tourism contribution to our economies through optimisation of the entire tourism value chain. Therefore, tourism leaders and policy makers in Africa have to start paying attention to this sub sector, if we are serious about increasing tourism’s contribution to Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in our respective countries.” Donkor stresses.
The partnership between conveners and supporting partners aims to educate and inspire the meetings and event industry in Africa, and to further the missions of African countries, particularly in relation to driving innovation and creativity in growing tourist arrival. Chistelle Grohmann, Director at Grant Thornton, notes that the Masterclass offers attendees from private and public sector the opportunity to upskill themselves, while learning more about global trends and best practices from experts associated with SACCI, SITE and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). “We’re really enthused by this initiative as it will help all stakeholders to share fresh perspectives on business tourism and MICE across Africa,” says Grohmann.
Speakers include industry experts Rudi van der Vyver - CEO of SAACI; Esmare Steinhofel –Regional Director at Africa ICCAAfrica Office; Jeffers Mariku - President of Society of Association of Executives (AfSAE), Kenya; Prof Adesoji Adesugba - Vice President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria; Nomasonto Ndlovu – CEO, Limpopo Tourism Agency; Miller Matola, CEO of Millvest and Former CEO of Brand South Africa; Tes Proos – Crystal Events, Africa and immediate Past President of SITE, Southern Africa; and Emeritus Professor, Ernie Heath, University of Pretoria. More expert faculty members will be unveiled in due course.