TourismUpdate.co.za reports that South Africa’s credit downgrades and political scandals are impacting on the country’s political and economic reputation as well as tourism related industries.
The tourism website quotes Rudi van der Vyver, CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (Saaci) who says the country needs to be mindful of the concerns of international conference owners and attendees when it bids to host big congresses in South Africa. Convention associations and bureaus are acutely aware of how the political landscape can affect conferencing.
Van der Vyver says “although we have been successful in bids, the future of hosting large congresses can be affected because there are other countries in Africa that are close behind us in hosting successful international congresses.”
Kigali in Randa in East Africa has opened its international conference centre in recent years and is attracting many lage conferences in country that has been politically stable for many years. In West Africa Abidjan in the Ivory Coast is also fast becoming a popular African conference hub.
TourismUpdate says international conferences are bid at least 18 months in advance, and what is happening in South Africa at the moment can affect the outcome of those bids, thereby affecting the number of conferences hosted in South Africa in the future.