South Africa features at IMEX Frankfurt | The Planner

South Africa took centre stage during one of the MICE industry’s most anticipated global events, IMEX Frankfurt.  

South Africa generated a lot of interest during last week’s IMEX Frankfurt. The country’s local business events industry, like so many others, was not immune to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and took a severe knock. However, South Africa was out in full force to showcase its destination, with a number of products and services to highlight why the nation is ideally placed to host business events.    

With Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, leading the charge, 23 South African exhibitors participated at IMEX Frankfurt, which took place at the Messe Frankfurt in Germany.

After two years of being put on hold as a result of the pandemic, IMEX Frankfurt ran from 31 May and concluded on 2 June 2022.

“Given the scale and importance of IMEX Frankfurt, it is the ideal platform to provide the most updated information about destination South Africa. We want to reassure our partners from across the world that they can come to South Africa and have safe and successful events. South Africa is a vibrant business events destination. On the back of our rich heritage, natural beauty and our vibrant people, we have an opportunity to reclaim our share of big global events and of course, international arrivals,” commented Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela.

Deputy Minister Mahlalela joined world leaders as they discussed the future of business events, particularly developing policies for strategic destination management.

“Being at IMEX Frankfurt reaffirms our country’s credibility and it cements our commitment to growing business events even further.  As clearly articulated at the Policy Forum, now more than ever, it is important that events return in physical form as they provide much needed revenue injection and economic boost for the cities and the countries that host these events. A case in point is that Frankfurt, would not have as many people from various parts of the world as they do today, had it not been for this trade show,” stated Deputy Minister Mahlalela.

Homegrown strategies

South Africa is committed to ensuring it offers a spread of diverse and unique tourism products and services. This saw businesses such as tour operators, hotels, and tourism authorities among some of the local exhibitors at IMEX Frankfurt. Included within this were SMMEs that the South African government subsidised to give them access and exposure to the international market.

South Africa’s business events strategy is managed by the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a business unit of South African Tourism, launched in 2012.

In line with this, the SANCB’s strategy is focused on key GDP generating sectors within the country’s economy, with business events driving job creation and overall socio-economic growth. The sectors are:

  • Agriculture
  • Business process outsourcing
  • Creative studies
  • Life sciences
  • Education
  • Communications technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical science
  • Tourism
  • Religion

“Having been at IMEX for the past few days, the importance of business events globally was once again highlighted with a clear message that if we do not continue with physical meetings then we will not be injecting money into the economies of the various cities and countries. It was so encouraging to hear most of our partners talking positively about South Africa and affirming South Africa’s business events strategy of focusing on key economic sectors,” concludes Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at South African Tourism.

Photo credit: IMEX Frankfurt press portal