Feature| Exhibition World 30| April 2010| Sleeping giants " S outh Africa bucked the global trend with a five per cent increase in arrivals while international tourism declined worldwide by four per cent in 2009," according to Republic of South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma. The premier announced his belief in his country's ability to harness a strong events legacy to the tourism ministers of the G20 countries ( T20) at the United National World Tourism Organisation's Tourism, Sport and Mega Events International Summit, held alongside Thebes Exhibitions' trade exhibition Meetings Africa 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. " In the wake of the recession and the uncertainty around the swine flu virus, it is time for nations to rebuild, reconstruct and focus on tourism," said Zuma, acknowledging that local liquidity, investment, employment and trade had been severely constrained by the " shockwaves" of recession. The country maintained a busy exhibition calendar throughout 2009 with many of its shows focusing on the recent influx of construction projects ahead of the World Cup. In the calendar for 2009 were events including South African organiser Specialised Exhibitions' building and construction exhibition, Interbuild Africa, Exhibition Management Services' 17th Southern African International Trade Exhibition ( SAITEX) and Afri- Build the international infrastructure, public works, building and construction exhibition. From international organisers' perspective Brand Events's Top Gear Live World Tour and Media 10' s Grand Designs Live as both scheduled at the Coca- Cola Dome in Johannesburg this year. With the World Cup just weeks away, South Africa, said Zuma, has been turned into a giant construction site. " We are building new infrastructure to take us into the future." He explained that his vision was to build a legacy as champions. " We want to make the dream of the founding democratic President, Nelson Mandela, a reality. He wanted to see a united, non- racial and prosperous South Africa." The summit was attended by 450 delegates representing 35 countries. South African minister for tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, highlighted the potential events legacy. Mega events such as the World Cup can demonstrate capacity, infrastructure, hospitality and the general competitiveness of the host country's travel and tourism industry. " Sports, mega events and business tourism are the sleeping giants of our tourism market, which hold huge potential and which we will exploit further to grow our industry," said Van Schalkwyk. " South Africa's tourism sector finds itself in the international spotlight this year," he said. " The business tourism sector is especially excited about what happens in the country this year and hopes to reap the benefits for years to come." The summit came at a critical time in the mega events calendar. The Winter Olympic Games in With weeks until billions of eyes are cast upon South Africa's soil for the FIFA World Cup, the country hosted an inaugural summit on mega events. Sarah O'Donnellwent to examine its agenda to create an international events legacy. THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW. EXHIBITION- WORLD. NET " We are building new infrastructure to take us into the future."
Feature| Exhibition World 31| April 2010| Canada, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the World Exhibition in Shanghai, China and the Commonwealth Games in India are all being held in 2010. The summit focused on South Africa's event legacy and its national long- term development plan. Secretary- general of the UN World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai, said the immediate impacts of mega events include investment, infrastructure, urban development, employment generation and image promotion. He believes the long- term legacy of these events in South Africa includes " building national unity and pride" through real community involvement, improved capacity to attract foreign investment. As international organisers go, Montgomery Worldwide has perhaps the greatest market share of South Africa's trade show business. The company is behind well- established shows including September's Interbuild Africa, packaging show Propak Africa and hospitality and catering show, Hostex. Montgomery is responsible for 35 shows in South Africa, spread between Cape Town and Johannesburg. " South Africa has a very big future in exhibitions," says Sandy Angus, chairman of international organiser Montgomery Worldwide. " The country has some very substantial, very sophisticated shows, in some cases exceeding 35,000sqm. " We are currently working with a number of partners on South African shows, including UK- based Media 10 for the South African debut of its Grand Designs Live home development show." The company is also working with UBM on the security exhibition IFSEC South Africa, incorporating Securex. Zuma believes that for continued success and growth of both South Africa's trade and public events, the critical investment has to be made in national infrastructure. " In preparation for 2010, South Africans across the country have been hard at work, building stadiums, constructing road and transport systems, rebuilding airports and improving technology," said Zuma. " We South Africans are not only working towards 30 days of football. We are building our country." The T20 Ministers' Meetings explored the synergies between strengthening global economic cooperation and the tourism sector's efforts to build resilience and stimulate new, sustained, and responsible growth. Africa, still seen in the world's eyes as a developing country, has seen a boom in environmentally- focused exhibitions with heavyweights such as the Terrapin Holdings' Green Buildings World Africa Exhibition and its Energy Efficiency World Exhibition. Ministers recognised the need to continue working to understand better the impacts of mega events in tourism and proposals from T20 included greening guidelines for events, creating a knowledge repository on the management of such events and the rethinking of the way the costs and benefits of these events are evaluated. The Republic of Korea nominated itself to host the second T20 event before November 2010 to review progress and continue the " constructive dialogue". President Zuma said that mega events offer the opportunity to " work together to strengthen our tourism industry, our economy, our employment capacity and skilled workforce, our appeal to investors and of course, our global image and identity". With the world's eyes on South Africa, it remains to be seen if this summit simply paid lip service to the effect mega events will have on the country, and if the exhibition industry will benefit from a revitalised, sustainable events legacy. THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW. EXHIBITION- WORLD. NET Republic of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma South African minister for tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk