Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo heads up National Convention Bureau

South African Tourism (SAT) has appointed Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo as executive manager of the newly-established National Convention Bureau (NCB), effective 1 November 2011. She was most recently head of the Convention Bureau and Events at Cape Town Routes Unlimited.

The NCB is designed to enhance South Africa’s business tourism capacity and continue to grow the country’s status as a world-class destination for international conventions, exhibitions, incentives and events. The objective of the NCB is to make a significant impact in consolidating, co-ordinating and strengthening efforts to attract meetings and conventions to South Africa.

“Amanda’s appointment to drive the National Convention Bureau is a critical one for us at SA Tourism. We naturally place great emphasis on leisure tourism, which is the source of the majority of our international tourist arrivals, but South Africa’s popularity as a business tourism destination is growing and holds great tourism potential. Business tourists traditionally are high spenders and the industry has the potential to add considerably to our tourism revenue. Enhancing our business tourism proposition and attracting international meetings and conferences is therefore extremely important to us and we’re delighted to welcome on board Amanda, who has a wealth of experience in the national business tourism industry through her work at Cape Town Routes Unlimited and as a member of the board of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI),” says Tim Scholtz, SATs chief operating officer and acting CEO.

“This is an important appointment for us, at a critical time. Over the next five years South Africa has already secured over 200 international conferences, which is estimated to attract 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost of more than R1.6-billion. We’re looking forward of course to the United Nations COP 17 Climate Change conference coming up in Durban as the year’s business tourism highlight, as we continue to leverage our country’s status as a mega-events destination and benefit from heightened global exposure. We have world-class convention centres, hotels, transport networks and abundant high-quality business tourism infrastructure, which is complemented by our country’s leisure offering. And we are now looking to attract events and to encourage business travelers to stay longer to explore our country’s tourist offerings and of course to return with their families, so the National Convention Bureau is an important addition to our work at SA Tourism,” Scholtz adds.

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