Reiterating its commitment to the Indian business and MICE travel segment, South African Tourism concluded the second edition of its in-person Corporate MICE program at ITC Maratha in Mumbai. The first edition of this highly engaging program proved to be a major success for the tourism board and became a powerful platform to explore business and corporate event opportunities for South Africa.
Engagement programs like Corporate Think Tank sessions assist in setting the ground for quick recall and are particularly aimed at capitalising on the growing demand for MICE tourism. It serves as an add-on to the tourism board’s well-developed strategy and allows them to directly communicate with the decision-makers responsible for their company’s corporate travel purchasing and address their needs. Organised by OptiMICE Events Pvt Ltd, these sessions have been specifically curated to be interactive and encourage a healthy free flowing exchange of ideas amongst the attendees and South African Tourism.
Being the financial capital of India, Mumbai continues to remain an integral part of South African Tourism’s plans to increase MICE travel to the Rainbow Nation. Over 40 per cent travellers from the city visited South Africa on business and MICE trips in 2022. Gaining the momentum, Mumbai is expected to remain the top-most contributor of business and MICE travellers from India. Led by Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – Middle East, India and South-East Asia, South African Tourism, the interaction with corporates focused on exploring novel opportunities within the destination for hosting MICE travellers. Further, it provided an in-depth understanding of the overall MICE market, an evolved sense of purchaser needs and expectations, and most importantly helped educate the decision-makers on various business-oriented facilities that the destination has to offer.
Moderated by Kamal Gill, Director, OptiMICE Events, the discussions covered a wide range of subjects including the upcoming employee engagement cycle, USPs of South Africa for MICE groups, the support offered by the tourism board as well as the activities that can be explored by potential MICE groups in the new era.
Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – Middle East, India and South-East Asia, South African Tourism said, “Corporate India’s increasing interest in hosting global meetings, key conventions and important exhibitions in South Africa is a testament towards the world-class business facilities the country has to offer. The Rainbow Nation has evolved as a destination with winning combination for India’s business and MICE travellers owing to the affordability and engagement opportunities available. It is heartening to see more and more corporate houses choosing South Africa as the preferred destination for addressing their business needs.”
“The strengthening economic ties between both the nations presents us with a great opportunity to capitalise on the increasing demand for MICE tourism. Keeping in mind the ever-growing size of the Indian economy, we are aiming for a 35 per cent growth in MICE travellers from India in 2023,” she added.
Post the pandemic, India moved up two spots to become the 6th largest international source market for South Africa. In 2022, the Rainbow Nation witnessed over a 200 per cent surge in travellers from the country and welcomed nearly 50,000 Indians till November. With over 1 in 4 Indian arrivals to South Africa motivated by MICE, the country continues to remain amongst the top-3 focus markets for South African Tourism.
Raising its targets for this year, the tourism board is aiming for a 35 per cent increase in MICE travellers from metros and tier-2 markets in 2023 and will continue to interact with potential audiences through such highly engaging events. In line with its corporate engagement schedule, the tourism board kickstarted its corporate MICE program in Delhi which took place in February followed by Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore on 16th, 17th and 24th March 2023, respectively.