- The events industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and travel bans.
- In order to generate opportunities in the events industry for Johannesburg as destination, the City and industry body the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry intend to work together.
- Creating opportunities for the youth forms part of the intended collaboration plan.
The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) and the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality intend to form a partnership to benefit the events industry in the city.
The two parties on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding what would be known as the COJ/SAACI Business Tourism Collaboration.
The three-year collaboration agreement will have a focus on creating opportunities for SMMEs and youth, stimulating economic growth through business tourism and encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors in the tourism industry.
Elements of the intended programme include the creation of co-bidding and mutual coordination activities for key identified conferences and conventions for the City of Johannesburg. A joint approach with SAACI members will be developed to ensure that "Destination Johannesburg" increases its number of hosted business events.
The idea is also to do enterprise development by creating a business events value chain which will form the framework of a dedicated business events incubation programme. It will develop the capacitates of entrepreneurs and also grow innovation organically in line with the future needs of the industry.
Another component of the collaboration would be research, statistical analysis and intelligence focused on industry trends, and security and risk analysis. It will also look at governance, in other words the impact of policy that may influence how business events are managed in the future.
Furthermore, the collaboration will identify how association buyers and industry decision makers are educated on "Destination Johannesburg" with the aim of forging long-term relationship development.
Job-creation programmes will form an important part of the collaboration too, as well as creating opportunities for youth skills development in the events industry.
According to SAACI national chair Kim Roberts, the industry body views strategic partnerships like these as a way in which the public and private sector can work towards the recovery of the industry.
The events sector has been one of the hardest hit in SA's tourism industry due to the impact of coronavirus lockdowns and travel bans.