The 2017/2018 financial year has not only brought the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) to its 15th birthday, but has also recorded record-breaking revenues and impressive operating profits.This was announced as part of the CTICC’s 2017/18 annual financial results, presented by CEO Julie-May Ellingson last week.Over the last 15 years, the CTICC has welcomed over eight million people to the venue – close to double the population of Cape Town, Ellingson said.During this time, the CTICC contributed R41bn to the country’s GDP and around R35bn to the Western Cape’s Gross Geographic Product (GGP).The CTICC has also created around 115 000 jobs over the 15-year period, Ellingson said.But the CTICC hasn’t been resting on its laurels, with this year bringing in its own set of impressive numbers.During the past financial year, the CTICC made a R4.5bn contribution to the GDP, and a R3.1bn contribution to the GGP. The centre also posted a growth rate well above the international average for convention centres around the world.According to the Association of International Convention Centres (AIPC), the 2017 average growth rate for centres around the world was 9%, Ellingson said.“The CTICC exceeded this by growing their revenue by over 14%. This was also double the AIPC’s forecasted growth rate of 7% for 2018 and reaffirms the CTICC’s position as one of the world’s leading international convention centres.“In 2017/18 our revenue increased by 14.2% from R215.6m to R246.3m, while Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) also rose well above our target of R24.3m to R57.2m. These results are particularly pleasing in the current economic climate,” said Ellingson.The centre hosted a total of 525 events during the period under review and made a net contribution to foreign exchange earnings of R681m.Western Cape MEC for economic opportunities, Beverley Schäfer, applauded the CTICC in a statement. “The investment in the CTICC’s expansion is already starting to pay off, as the centre secures more and bigger conferences, highlighting the important role of infrastructure-led economic growth in our province. The CTICC is jointly owned by the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and the business sector, and its development and expansion is an important economic catalyst in the province.“The business tourism sector is an important niche market for the development and growth of tourism in our province. V Continued on page 2.