Shot in the arm for business tourism

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Categories : Travel news

The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) and South African Tourism (SAT) have joined forces to improve their service to the South African meetings industry.

The organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). They will now work together to ensure that Meetings Africa, the annual business tourism exhibition, and the annual SAACI national conference form the cornerstones of the industry.

Meetings Africa 2010 will be held in Johannesburg from 24 to 26 February and the SAACI national conference from 14 to 17 August in Durban.

Nina Freysen-Pretorius, national chairperson of SAACI, says the association believes this partnership with SAT will go a long way towards improving communication and deliverables in the industry.

"We are proud to be South African Tourism's official business tourism industry partner and fully support its efforts to market the country as a meetings destination of choice," she notes.

In terms of the agreement, SAACI is encouraging its members to participate in Meetings Africa and will manage two educational sessions during the event. The association will also invite its members to the Association Day conference and networking evening and promote Meetings Africa. In turn, SAT will communicate SAACI's involvement in Meetings Africa.

At the 2010 SAACI national conference, SAT will have a complimentary exhibition stand to market Meetings Africa 2011 and will host a breakfast event that will form part of the conference programme.

SAACI and SAT will jointly host 40 delegates from the local association and event management community at the conference, who will form the core of the local hosted buyers programme at Meetings Africa 2011. SAT will also have a number of conference-specific sponsorship opportunities.

SAT will be an anchor sponsor of the SAACI conference and a patron member of the association. SAACI and SAT will co-brand all marketing and communications related to the two events.

Nomasonto Ndlovu, global manager for business tourism at SAT says it is encouraging that industry partners have recognised the need to play a more strategic role in Meetings Africa.

"To this end, SAT is very pleased with the SAACI partnership for quality educational sessions. If we are to grow our expertise and global competitiveness, ongoing education for our meetings professionals remains important. Educational sessions are therefore a strategic part of Meetings Africa and the next few years will see further developments to take this part of the event to the next level. Topics will address current business tourism trends and issues affecting the global meetings industry today, delivered by a combination of international and local speakers."

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