Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Oct 2010

CONVENTIONS: CTICC Premier Meetings Destination In Africa


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Despite challenging global economic conditions Cape Town and the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has continued to be a popular choice for international meetings and events. Cape Town is still the top destination for conferences in Africa and the Middle East after retaining its 35th position in the 2009 ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) global ranking.

According to Chief Operating Officer, Joey Pather, while the centre has seen a drop in average delegate numbers and occupied exhibition space, high occupancy levels have been maintained across all venues throughout the year. “Venue occupancy across exhibition halls averaged close on 60%, which is an 11 % increase from occupancy levels in 2009, which was 49%” says Pather.

During the year under review the centre exceeded its target for hosting international and national conferences. Of the 553 events hosted by the CTICC, 39 were comprised of international conferences and 37 were comprised of national conferences, which compares favourably with the 34 and 33 respectively, of the previous financial year. “The total number of delegates attending these conferences also increased marginally, pointing to the positive impact that the gradual improvement in global economic conditions should have on the events and hospitality industry in the near future” says Pather.

Once again, venue rentals and food and beverage services were the most significant contributors to overall revenue flows bringing in 50% and 36% respectively. The appointment of an internationally trained Chef Patisserie is set to further raise the bar in terms of the centre’s food and beverage service offering and will contribute to the quality of the experience enjoyed by clients and guests of the CTICC.

Much of the growth in the number of events hosted at the CTICC can be attributed to a marginal increase across all event categories. “We have also seen a growth in the number of special events” says Pather. This is a result of a specific focus on attracting more of these types of events to the CTICC. This focus will continue in the year ahead in an effort to unlock greater value from a more diverse client base.

The centre’s success in the face of tough economic conditions can be attributed to the fact the CTICC has always focused primarily on international association business as these markets are fairly recession proof” says Pather.

CTICC is well on its way to achieving its vision of being the best long haul international convention centre by 2020 as the high occupancy levels of the CTICC indicate. The number of tourist days spent by international tourists returning to South Africa as a result of induced tourism, is expected to increase to over 550 000 days by 2015.

The centre has a well booked portfolio of events up until 2016 and has 411 events booked” concluded Pather. Upcoming event highlights include the Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in 2011, the Southern African Society for Human Genetics, World Veterinary Congress in 2011 and the 19th International Symposium on Dental Hygiene in 2013.

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