I have just read a great article on conferencing and the revenue it generates.
Revenue from conferences exceeds revenue by regular tourists, however the attractions of the host city play a role, as conferences are never only about work.
I would love to see all conference staff and related support industry staff trained firstly as enthusiastic, professional and excellent service providers, as well as being required to have a good knowledge to enable them to act as ambassadors for their City, and for South Africa.
This is a huge and fast growing market, we should be actively working to ensure that excellent service becomes the norm, and that all interactions conference delegates have with the people they meet in the host city are memorable. A positive attitude and a basic knowledge of the local treasures and tourist highlights should be part of the skill-set taught to new employees.
During the 2010 World Cup most South Africans who did not leave the country for the duration, were proudly South African, friendly, welcoming and wanting to share their South Africa with the visitors. It would be great if we could start reactivating that national pride so that it too becomes the norm.
So in a country that embraces mixed marriages, lets see conferencing and tourism making the committment to tie the knot. By working together these two industries could generate billions, create jobs, instill national pride, up-skill the work force and take a giant step in rebuilding the nation.
I believe South Africa’s greatest strength is its people. We are known for our smiles, spontaneity and friendliness. Lets take it to the next level and add patriotic, forward thinking and super efficient as part of how we are remembered. We want to make them all come back again and again and again.
Just saying what I think. Brainstorming and comments welcome