Durban takes over reins of Future Convention Cities Initiative

The Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau has been entrusted with leading the Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) for the next two years. This was recently announced at IMEX, a leading meetings, events and incentive travel exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.

The FCCI is a group of member cities that represent some of the best convention bureaus in the world, including cities like Abu Dhabi, London, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney, Toronto and Durban.

The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Michael Mabuyakhulu, said: “KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) only joined the FCCI in 2011. The FCCI aims to accelerate the strategic development of the business event industry of their cities, and in less than five years we have been entrusted with such an important role. This is truly an honour for KZN and it will go a long way towards positioning us as Africa’s leading business tourism destination.

“We are clearly doing something right; in 2013 Durban jumped 60 places in just one year to be in the top 100 world rankings of International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). KZN is currently number two in terms of delegate numbers after hosting 19 ICCA compliant meetings that brought over 13 000 delegates to the province in 2014.”

Commenting about the importance of business tourism to the province and the City, the
Chief Executive Officer of Tourism KZN, Ndabo Khoza, said: “Business events are a key part of building a thriving tourism sector for any destination. Many of the business travellers will either come early or stay longer after the conference and the world trends show that they are mostly likely to visit again as leisure tourists in the near future.”

KwaZulu-Natal recently hosted the Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA)
Conference which was attended by more than 200 senior travel professionals over a period of three days at the Durban waterfront.

Commenting on the success of the conference, ASATA Chief Executive Officer, Otto de
Vries, raved about the reviews received from the delegates. “The feedback received from all involved has been most positive and we are convinced that our members are encouraged to consider Durban for future events coming out of their respective businesses,” he commented.

Over the next few months, KZN will be hosting a number of world class conferences such as the 21st Baptists World Congress in July, the Loerie Awards in August and the 14th World Forestry Congress in September.

Durban and KZN were rated as Africa’s best MICE destination in 2012 and 2013 by Business Destinations magazine, and Africa’s leading meetings and conference destination at the World Tourism Awards in 2014.

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