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Mice Net : August 2009
south africa south africa’s bright star JohAnnA MCKinnon CAughT up with Cape Town Convention Bureau’s executive manager international marketing, David Frandsen, at Meetings Africa 2009 to talk all things business tourism. Frandsen believes this event will make an impact beyond the life of the tournament, firmly placing the country at the forefront of future event planning. W Q: How important is the association events market for Cape Town? A: We’re the hottest South African destination for association meetings at the moment. Probably more than 90 percent of association meetings come to Cape Town and we’ve gone from nothing to being quite highly ranked in the world as a meetings destination in almost no time. Practically since the Cape Town International Convention Centre was built we’ve become a new number one destination in South Africa for meetings. Q: There’s a lot of new development happening at the moment in Cape Town, what effect do you think this will have on future events? A: There’s a whole lot of development going on, especially in the lead up to the Soccer World Cup 2010. In terms of hotels, The One&Only Resort and waterfront development is opening this year, and the Taj Palace is coming to town next year, as well as the 114 mice.net ith the 2010 Soccer World Cup fast approaching, South Africa and particularly Cape Town is revving up for one of the biggest sporting events in the country’s history. David extension to the Cape Town International Convention Centre which will be finished in 2012. Q: What do you think will happen after the World Cup, after much development and such an influx of visitors? A: I guess it’s much like Sydney after the 2000 Olympics. We’re hoping the focus from different soccer playing countries from around the world will be on South Africa and in particular Cape Town. And this exposure will hopefully open their eyes to a new destination that they haven’t experienced before. We hope that there’ll be a sustained performance and improvement in tourism from countries such as Australia. Q: In light of the current economic environment, have you seen the full effects of the GFC yet? A: No we haven’t. Europe as our primary market is going into that and America is well into it now. We’re not so closely integrated economically with America so the direct effects from America aren’t as profound. But, totally against the trend the convention bureau has had its best quarter ever in terms of confirming some major association meetings, confirming nine in the last three months. People are planning meetings five, six and seven years in advance and that continues.