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Award-winning conference space in the heart of EnglandWhen you demand quality, an area rich with heritage, and excellent service, we deliver. The University of Warwick Conferences and Events has over 300 meeting rooms, with award-winning catering, accommodation, and a team focused on creating an effective, memorable event. To discover why our guests voted for us to achieve 3 M&IT Awards, talk to us at IMEX 2012, or call 024 7652 us @WarwickConfConference with confidencewww.warwickconferences.comThe University of WarwickConferences and Events 006325 Conf and meeting world V2.indd 130/3/12 11:22:36EdinburghGlasgowLondonOxfordBirminghamManchesterLoughboroughM1 motorwayEast MidlandsAirportyour experience, our expertise.imago @ Loughborough Ltd, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TD 08450 364624 | | www.welcometoimago.com3 star budget hotelLocated in the heart of the UKBe part of an amazing yearInspired meetings, inspirational backdrop4 outstanding meeting and conference venues

ISSUE 67 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 31Show ReviewA story of growthMEEtIngS afrICa PoStEd a rECord attEndanCE fIgUrE In 2012. vIkkI CarlEy rEvIEWS tHE ContInEnt'S largESt MEEtIngS EvEnt at Sandton ConvEntIon CEntrEs South Africa announced its plans to grow business tourist arrivals to the country, its annual Meetings Africa event at Johannesburg's Sandton Convention Centre, in March, too announced some big growth in visitors.The exhibition, organised by South Africa Tourism, attracted 3,452 visitors a 20 per cent rise on 2011. Registered international visitor numbers nearly doubled from 106 in 2011 to 205 in 2012 (up 93 per cent) and a total of 8,906 meetings were requested during the three-day show through the Meetings Africa match-making electronic diary system. "There is no doubt looking at the numbers that this has been the most successful Meetings Africa show yet. It shows that there is keen interest in destination South Africa and bodes extremely well for our plans to grow business tourist arrivals, entrench our status as Africa's leading business tourism destination and increase our share in the global business tourism market," said South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima.While there was good business tourism interest from South Africa's core tourism markets, there was a noticeable heightened interest at Meetings Africa this year from emerging markets, with a lively BRICS panel discussion on the show's penultimate day highlighting the potential and interest in South Africa from China, India, Brazil and Russia. South Africa's Tourism Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk opened the exhibition. "Partnership is key to South Africa's business tourism growth," he said."South Africa has made great strides in elevating its big event host status and is fast becoming one of the world's favourite destinations for big events, meetings, conferences and exhibitions."The Tourism Minister noted that as South Africa looks to aggressively pursue a bigger share of the global business tourism market, the newly-established National Convention Bureau (NCB) at South African Tourism would be critical in harnessing national business tourism efforts.Established in November 2011 and headed up by its Executive Manager, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, the NCB is finally up and running as a 'one-stop shop' for independent information and assistance, giving neutral advice on all aspects of hosting and organising any business tourism-related event in South Africa.The NCB will co-ordinate national bidding, undertake research and collaborate with national convention centres and the business tourism industry to present a united front for destination South Africa. Aabove: Meetings africa celebrated a 20 per cent rise in visitor numbers from 2011. Below: rob davidsonPartnership is key to South Africa's business tourism growth South AfricA'S touriSm miniSter