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South Africa’s Sports Tourism Future Shaping Up

Durban, South Africa will host the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session from 3-9 July 2011 while the the launch of the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE), will be held in Cape Town from 27-29 July 2011.

“We’ve hosted the world’s football fraternity in South Africa and we’re delighted to now be playing host to the entire Olympic movement in our country. As the South African Government, we’ve thrown our full support behind the success of the IOC Session. We look forward to constructive engagement with the leaders of world sport, as we look to continue entrenching our country’s positive reputation as a major international sports, tourism and events destination and as we look to bid for and host events across the sporting spectrum in South Africa,” said Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula.

"This is a historic moment for Durban, South Africa and for Africa to host the International Olympic Committee for the first time on the continent. This is the first time that such a group is assembling in South Africa and it provides us with abounding opportunities to showcase our economy, our tourism, our culture and our people,” said IOC Executive Member, Sam Ramsamy.

Meanwhile, leading academics and experts in sports, events and tourism will share their knowledge and expertise with industry leaders at the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE), which will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The event will be hosted by South African Tourism, Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group (TEPG). The aim of the two-day conference and exhibition is to formulate a tangible South African sports tourism strategy.

“Globally, sports tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry and with South Africa’s proven capability of hosting major events, as well as our significant infrastructure footprint, it makes sense that we start pursuing sports tourism as a viable route towards achieving our tourism goals. SETE affords us the opportunity to get together as tourism and sports bodies to collaborate towards maximising the potential of hosting sports and mega events. The FIFA World Cup was a major boost for South Africa’s international reputation, but it is important to note that hosting ongoing sustainable events across all sporting codes in South Africa are equally important for us to drive future tourism and economic growth,” said Roshene Singh, SA Tourism’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Alongside the strategic discussions at SETE there will be a trade show platform, where international buyers from various global sporting and events corporations will have the opportunity to interact with local sports bodies and agents, destination marketing agencies as well as stadia and other venue stakeholders.