DEREK HANEKOM, Africa is on the rise

DEREK HANEKOM, Africa is on the rise

“Meetings Africa is South Africa’s premier business tourism event. It mirrors the success and achievement of the tourism industry in 2016. All thanks are due to everyone all along the value chain and to the organisers of this event – the capable and energetic people we have at South African Tourism: well done on putting together another fabulous show.” Said Hanekom during the opening of Meetings Africa 2017.

Meetings Africa is an important event in South Africa’s tourism calendar. It is driven by a determination to raise the volumes for business and leisure tourism on our continent. It is a key lever for the economic success of all our countries, and for the wellbeing of all our people.

It is really inspiring to see so many exhibitors and buyers here, ready to do business. Every product and service on offer here represents opportunity: opportunities to do more business, opportunities to create linkages to an extended value chain – food and wine, creative and cultural industries, and real opportunities for tourism to make a greater impact on our country and our continent.

“Africa is on the rise. Africa is innovating. Africa is at the forefront of scientific endeavor. As we speak, Africa is constructing the most powerful radio telescope in the world, which will generate discoveries and new knowledge on a massive scale. Last year, 58 million international tourists arrived in Africa – an increase of 8% over 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa led the growth, with an 11% increase, and there has been a gradual recovery in North Africa. “Said Hanekom

“The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is confident that international tourist arrivals in Africa will grow by between 5% and 6% in 2017. Travel and tourism now contributes around 3.3% to Africa’s GDP, and supports over 9 million jobs directly, or 3% of total employment. The World Travel and Tourism Council forecasts that the number of jobs in tourism will grow this year.” Conclude Hanekom

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