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Cape Town enhances global MICE position with new world event

Cape Town and the Western Cape has won the bid to host the Sixth Science Centre World Congress in Africa in 2011. Following on the bid prepared by the MTN ScienCentre in collaboration with Cape Town Routes Unlimited, the…

Cape Town and the Western Cape has won the bid to host the Sixth Science Centre World Congress in Africa in 2011. Following on the bid prepared by the MTN ScienCentre in collaboration with Cape Town Routes Unlimited, the official tourism destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, the congress will bring 800 delegates from 40 countries and an estimated economic impact of more than R6 million to the destination.



This follows Cape Town’s recent rise to the 29th position on the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) Global Ranking Report, confirming that it is a business tourism destination of choice for conference planners worldwide.



“This shows that Cape Town’s credentials as a competitive player in the meetings and events market are growing by the day. We are already the Number One convention destination in Africa and are even more proud when our destination brings an event of this stature to our continent. We must remember that 35% of all international conference delegates return to the conference destination as leisure tourists within five years from the conference taking place, and that they often bring friends or family with,” says Calvyn Gilfellan, acting Chief Executive of Cape Town Routes Unlimited.



“Initially the International Organising Committee of the Sixth Science Centre World Congress was concerned about Africa’s capability to host the congress, but the quality of the bid document and the detailed project proposal that was submitted in April this year, won them over. Cape Town represented South Africa in the race and competed with other African countries like Egypt to secure the congress for the continent,” explains Keith Burton, professional conference organiser for the event.



“Cape Town’s state-of-the-art conference facilities, variety of five-star hotels and sophisticated infrastructure make the city an extremely popular venue for international conferences, meetings and incentive trips. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is also close to several important science education facilities in the city, like the Iziko Museums, Two Oceans Aquarium and Telkom Exploratorium,” says Gilfellan.



“The CTICC looks forward to hosting the important Sixth Science Centre World Congress in 2011. In its short history, the CTICC has been the host venue of already more than 150 international congresses with participant numbers from a few hundred to over 12 000. The delegates of these events have enjoyed our facilities as well as the many other attractions of Cape Town. The CTICC will do its utmost to make sure that also the delegates of the Science Centre congress will experience Cape Town as an excellent destination for their meeting,” says Dirk Elzinga, Managing Director of the CTICC.



The Science Centre World Congress is held every three years on a different continent. Previous congresses took place in Finland (1996, Vantaa), India (1999, Calcutta), Australia (2002, Canberra) and Brazil (2005, Rio de Janeiro). The next will be held in Toronto, Canada in June 2008.



Besides the business tourism benefits of the congress, winning the bid is also an important milestone in the development of a science centre network in Africa as part of NEPAD and the African Renaissance.



“Africa faces the major challenge of developing such a network over the next ten years. We believe that hosting the Sixth Science Centre World Congress in Cape Town, which is also home to one of the most successful science centres in South Africa (MTN ScienCentre in Century City), will greatly strengthen the campaign to introduce interactive science centres into all African countries. Currently we have twelve science centers in South Africa, and one each in Botswana, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritius. There are no science centres in east, west or central Africa,” says Mike Bruton, the Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the congress.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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