Mamelodi Sundowns's Victory to Bring Spin-Offs to SA

Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa says the achievement by Mamelodi Sundowns will no doubt have positive spin-offs for the country.

"This monumental sporting achievement happens at a time when South Africa is still ranked within the top 15 long-haul destinations globally and is the leading business events destination in Africa and the Middle East," she said.

Speaking at the opening of the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange Conference in Pretoria, on Tuesday, Deputy Minister Xasa said South Africa hosted no less than 140 international association meetings and conferences in 2015 which brought around 80 000 delegates to this country, while 66 international association conferences and meetings have already been secured for the five years starting next year.

"The 140 international meetings and conferences held in 2015 had 542 combined conference days while the economic impact is estimated at around a billion Rands that was injected into the South African economy," she said.

According to the Deputy Minister, about R1.4 billion is expected to be contributed to the South African economy by the 66 conferences and meetings that are already secured for the next 5 years while 108 134 association professionals will be attracted to the country as a result.

Deputy Minister Xasa said the National Department of Tourism has partnered with Thebe Reed Exhibitions at the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange for the next two years to further promote South Africa as an events tourism destination by utilising the wealth of experience and knowledge gathered at the conference.

"This partnership will ensure that at least 10 emerging tourism operators benefit from the international buyers programme with workshops aimed at capacitating and empowering these enterprises at the SETE platform," the Deputy Minister said.

She said one of the key drives from government is ensuring that the tourism sector, like many other sectors, is transformed and this can only happen with the full participation of all stakeholders, particularly those who were previously marginalised, in the economic opportunities presented.

Source: allAfrica