The past two years have seen South Africa host a myriad of sports enthusiasts from all over the world, eager to support their teams and explore what else the country has to offer. With every goal South Africa scored on the soccer field during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, its reputation was further established as an extremely capable host of large-scale international events. As the tournament’s slogan of ‘Ke Nako’ (It’s time) reminds us, it is indeed South Africa’s time to shine as a world-class host to many more global sporting events, taking us well beyond 2010 and into the next decade.
The Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) conference and exhibition, which will be held between 27 and 29 July at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, aims to capitalise on the impetus created around sports events like The Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup. “SETE is a first in South Africa, and will provide exhibitors and visitors with a unique platform to network and interact with both local and international industry leaders,” says Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group (TEPG). TEPG, along with SA Tourism (SAT) and Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), will be co-hosting SETE.
To further explore the new, fast-growing global trend of sports tourism, the exhibition will run alongside a two-day conference which boasts international speakers from diverse fields such as sports management, tourism, sports sponsorship, branding and political science. The conference will serve as a platform for these experts to strategise on how South Africa can sustain and build on its 2010 success and grow sports tourism into a multibillion rand industry. The conference is set to kick off with Danny Jordaan, Vice President of the South African Football Association and the previous Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, delivering the keynote address on the legacy of the FIFA World Cup.
Other industry pundits include Professor Kamilla Swart, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business and head of the Centre for Tourism Research in Africa at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology who will chair the conference.
SETE has also secured Derek Casey, former CEO of the UK Sports Council and Sport England. Casey will provide insight into the future direction of sport tourism and events by highlighting the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. The South African Minister of Sport & Recreation, Fikile Mbalula’s passionate position on sport tourism and the strategy going forward, also promises to impart a wealth of interesting facts.
“The aim is to promote South Africa as the beautiful and prosperous country that international organisers and tourists fell in love with during the FIFA World Cup and encourage them to host their future events on South African soil,” explains Weaving.
To further facilitate the promotion of South Africa as the country of choice for sporting events, the SETE conference and exhibitionwill offer a comprehensive International Hosted Buyer programme. This programme, funded by the Department of Trade & Industry and South African Tourism, will allow international buyers to rub shoulders with exhibitors through pre-scheduled meetings, conference sessions and networking events. The key objective of the programme is to connect international buyers with local service providers and product owners.
“For any service and product provider who is interested in the new trend of sports tourism, SETE is an excellent choice to start the networking process and learn about this emerging industry,” notes Manase Makwela, SRSA Director of Marketing and Communications. “Exhibiting at SETE is an unbelievable opportunity to not only showcase your company’s offerings and launch new products to potential buyers, but also to generate high quality leads and reach key influencers and decision makers. A broad spectrum of organisations involved in the sports, events and tourism industry will benefit from SETE, and the exhibition will ensure that they can take advantage of this exciting fledgling market.”
“The inaugural SETE event in July is the culmination of years of research and planning behind the scenes. SA Tourism and all our partners are ecstatic to see our vision become a reality in this amazing, action packed event. The very first SETE promises to be a huge success, with a remarkable line up of international speakers and role players already committed, and many more certain to sign up in the next few weeks. Sports and Event tourism is going to play a big role in ensuring the tourism industry meets its job creation and arrivals targets over the next 5 years.” concludes Sugen Pillay, global manager for events, South African Tourism.
For more information on SETE and how you can secure your stand at this inaugural exhibition, go to www.sportsandevents.co.za.
About Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE)
The Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) is unprecedented in South Africa and all members of the South African Sports, Events and Tourism industry will have the opportunity to market their products and offering. The SETE offers a comprehensive International Hosted Buyers program which is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and driven by South African Tourism.