20 August 2012

South Africa: Sports Tourism Industry Under Spotlight At Sete Conference

Shaping and advancing South Africa's development as a sports tourism destination, the National Sports Tourism Steering committee's presentation of its 17 year strategy will identify the key international events that South Africa should bid for, as well as the domestic events that need governmental support, in order to grow the country's sports tourism industry.

The presentation is sure to garner much interest at the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) conference to be held at the ICC in Durban alongside the second annual SETE exhibition from 12-14 September.

Appointed by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) at last year's inaugural SETE conference, Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group brought together the National Sports Tourism Steering committee, which was tasked with developing and implementing a national strategy that would outline the key sports events which SASCOC, as well as its federations and partners, will be bidding for between 2013 and 2030. Almost a year of research and careful planning and preparation is set to come to fruition when the recommendations of the strategy are discussed and adopted at the upcoming SETE conference.

Analysing successful sports tourism industries

According to SETE conference director Sugen Pillay, the process of forming the strategy first involved the analysis of case studies of global destinations that have successful sports tourism industries. Here, countries such as Australia, Brazil, Spain and the United Kingdom were studied and key success indicators were identified, which applied locally may contribute to situating South Africa as an internationally competitive sports tourism destination.

Working within and developing existing governmental frameworks, the genesis of the strategy understandably took into account all policies and strategies of South Africa's government institutions relevant to sports and tourism. "The outcome of this analysis resulted in the identification of criteria that will inform government's decision to invest in and support bids for local events, ensuring that domestic sports events are supported," said Pillay.

Consultation with tourism stakeholders

Triangulating the information gathered by the case studies and the analysis of governmental policy and practice, the next phase involved consultation with key role-players identified by SASCOC, including a sample of national sports federations and tourism stakeholders, who provided information on the principal international events that South Africa should aim to host, as well as the key domestic events that need government support should it wish to bolster the local sports and tourism industries.

Both the SETE conference and exhibition will look to facilitate relationships between South Africa's tourism, sport and event industries and promote the country as a popular sports and events destination.

To this end, the SETE exhibition will feature an estimated 100 exhibitors as well as over 60 international hosted buyers, whilst the conference programme will include presentations and panel discussions anchored by keynote speakers who are all specialists within their respective fields.

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