KwaZulu-Natal seizes the momentum of business travel recovery at Meetings Africa 2024 | The Planner

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is poised to raise its head as Africa’s premier destination for business, meetings, and “bleisure” tourism at Meetings Africa 2024. Acting CEO of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN), Mr Sibusiso Gumbi, expressed the KZN Convention Bureau’s (KZNCB) commitment to attracting more conferences to the Zulu Kingdom. This area is renowned for its array of conference facilities, including the globally acclaimed Durban ICC. TKZN aims to leverage emerging trends like “bleisure” travel, blending business with leisure, which aligns perfectly with the province’s capacity to offer authentic cultural and nature-based experiences.

The rise of “bleisure” is expected to boost KZN’s revenue potential

This is from the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) segment of the travel and hospitality industries. With the global MICE industry projected to reach USD2.1 trillion by 2031, Africa, including KZN, anticipates significant growth in this sector.

Business travellers increasingly embrace the “bleisure” trend, extending their stays post-business for leisure activities, often bringing partners along, which is a practice incentiviised by many corporations. Mr Gumbi highlighted KZN’s diverse tourism offerings, short travel distances between major cities, and the resurgence of small airports, positioning the province as the ultimate “bleisure” destination.

The influx of mega business events and smaller conference is expected to be very profitable

The influx of mega business events and smaller conferences secured by KZNCB, including the African Union – AfCTA Council of Ministers Meeting and the XIX World Water Conference 2025, is expected to inject millions into the KZN economy. The Durban ICC, contributing significantly to South Africa’s GDP and job creation, underscores the vital role played by KZNCB in the recovery of KZN’s tourism sector.

The KZN Convention Bureau Pavilion at Meetings Africa showcases a wide range of facilities, from business to leisure, offered by the province, ensuring buyers gain a comprehensive understanding of the destination’s offerings. Post Meetings Africa, KZNCB will host international buyers from various countries on tours of Durban and the South Coast, providing firsthand experience of the destination and its conference venues.