South Africa – The perfect bleisure destination

South Africa certainly has it sorted when it comes to the bleisure trend. In fact, Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism and member of the advisory board of The United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s QUEST program (focusing on leadership and governance within Destination Management Organisations) says it’s a fact that people who visit South Africa for trade shows, tend to stay for longer or they return and bring their families.

Here is why you should combine your business trip to South Africa with some leisure time and activities:

Semi- or fully sponsored trip

Seeing that your company is already sponsoring the business part of your trip, you should have some extra cash to spend on leisure activities. Make it the adventure of a lifetime – take a trip to the beautiful Western Cape, drive the Garden Route, fly up North to the Kruger National Park or halt halfway at the majestic and super underrated Drakensberg.

Family friendly

South Africa has always been a family friendly destination and even while travelling for business, there are always ways in which you can combine it with a holiday. In fact, it is the best excuse to bring them along and show them what the country has to offer.

Scout and set up

Scouting has never been so much fun. See why your next meeting or exhibition should be hosted in South Africa and make a proper trip of it.

Competitive destination

Because of the bleisure trend that is so well nestled into what South Africa has to offer, South Africa is a highly competitive destination to host events and meetings in.

The know-how

South Africa has been investing in its MICE industry for quite some time. In fact, the Meetings Africa business events trade show that is coming up has been hosted here for 12 years and it has grown and attained competitive strength in the global market. Visiting this event will show you why South Africa is capable of hosting world-class business events and meetings.

Packaged for you

Many travel companies and hospitality specialists will admit to doing in-depth research into what business travellers expect from a visit to South Africa. This, in effect, allows them to tailor make packages for you, including both the best business and leisure experiences to your liking. Tsogo Sun, for one, is definitely one of the leaders in the field of customer profiling and the designing of customized experiences.

Sustaining and developing

With these things on everyone’s lips worldwide, greening, sustaining, uplifting and developing the environment and South Africa’s economy is certainly top of mind. Supporting initiatives and entrepreneurial enterprises that are key in getting these things done, are reason enough to take a bleisure trip to the sunny South.

Job creation

Bringing business to South Africa obviously means creating more jobs. Your leisure activities, in addition to your meetings and business endeavors, put bread on one or two families’ tables.

These upcoming trade shows are also another reason to visit South Africa:

Meetings Africa | 25 – 27 February 2019, Johannesburg

Seamless Africa | 12 – 13 March 2019, Cape Town

Decorex | 21 – 24 March 2019, Durban

IBTM Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

International Luxury Travel Market Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

World Travel Market Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

Indaba | 7 – 9 May 2019, Durban

Wine and Food Conference to show how to grow Loyalty and Revenue for Cape Tourism

 

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has calculated that last year, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the South African economy was worth R127,9 billion, accounting for 3% of the country’s GDP.

Margi Biggs

Commenting on the WTTC findings presented in its recent 2017 Economic Impact Report, Margi Biggs, convenor of the upcoming The Business of Food and Wine Tourism Conference, set to take place in Stellenbosch in the spring, said:

“The good news is that the council has projected the sector’s contribution to domestic GDP will rise by 2,7% in 2017, a very welcome increase given the subdued state of our local economy.”

A seasoned travel and tourism specialist, Biggs contends that travel and tourism can contribute still further to the national GDP, “provided we, as an industry, take note of new trends in consumer spending, behaviour and priorities to make our food and tourism offerings more compelling and more competitive, while upping the standard of our execution and service delivery.”

“If we get it right, the impact will be substantial.  It will help to build skills, create economic opportunities and reduce unemployment, generating greater prosperity for more South Africans.  We have all the right ingredients: beautiful locations, a growing reputation for world-class food and wines, and friendly and welcoming hospitality staff.  We just have to finesse what we are doing with the technology and research we now have at our disposal, while applying new thinking to marketing and problem-solving.”

 

She said the annual conference, now in its second year, would be presented by a selection of international and local tourism specialists and would focus on best practice and how to improve the customer experience. An important feature of the forum would be the various ways in which wine and food impact customer loyalty.

“There is a growing view internationally that customer experience will ultimately drive more loyalty than complicated point-based programmes and schemes. We need to take note.”

Amongst this year’s keynote speakers is CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona. His address will explore how the food and wine experience can promote South Africa’s competitive advantage as a tourist destination. Included in the line-up of international speakers are Don Shindle, an expert in customer service and GM of the Westin Verasa Napa in California’s renowned wine tourism epicenter. World-renowned TV personality, Andrea Robinson, one of only 23 female master sommeliers in the world will also be there. Dr Robin Back, a South African-born, US-based academic who conducts wine tourism research in both South Africa and the US will be looking specifically at the impact on loyalty of cellar door visits. The programme will also cover such topics as virtual reality, attracting new markets, and PR trouble shooting.

The conference takes place at Spier on Wednesday, 20 September.

For more information on the conference, or to register online, visit www.wineandfood.co.za.

Early Bird registration is now open at a fee of R2 950 (excl. VAT) per delegate, and ends on 12 June. The standard cost per delegate is R3 950 (excl. VAT), and ends on 18 August.  If you register and pay after 18 August, the cost rises to R4 500 (excl. VAT) per person.