The South African Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has once again thrown its weight behind the annual Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) exhibition and conference, it has been announced.
"It is very exciting to get SASCOC on board again. SASCOC is a key partner when it comes to bidding and hosting international events. This partnership demonstrates the government's commitment to growing the sports tourism industry," said Sugen Pillay, director for business development of Thebe Exhibitions and Projects and the conference director.
"More than 60 national sporting federations are affiliated to SASCOC, so we will have the presence of all those federations at our conference."
The SETE exhibition and conference, which is now in its third year, will be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 10 to 13 September, 2013.
SETE aims to promote the country as a popular sports and events destination and the highlight of last year's conference was the adoption of SASCOC's 17-year bidding and hosting strategic framework.
Identify key international events
The strategy identified the key international events that South Africa should bid for, as well as the domestic events that need government support to grow the country's sports tourism industry.
"This year, delegates will assess the progress that has been made in the implementation of the strategy," Pillay said.
The conference will focus on the key interventions required by SASCOC and its partners to bid and host international events, such as the Olympics.
SASCOC is already working on a business plan, studying the financial viability involved in bringing in international events.
Tubby Reddy, the chief executive of SASCOC, who felt there was "real value" for sports federations being involved in SETE, said that there were a lot of documents in South Africa that were just lying on shelves and nothing ever happened about them. "There must be implementation," he said.
Although the government did not back the previous proposal to go for the 2020 Olympics, Reddy said it was hoped to convince the government about the 2024 Olympics by the time bidding opened in 2017. "We will have to do our homework properly," he said.
SETE's relationship with SASCOC has also resulted in an "absolute coup", a delighted Pillay said.
"SASCOC is hosting the International Council for Coaching Excellence Conference and has decided to stage it in Durban. Although it is a totally separate conference, it will coincide with our event.
"This coaching conference is going to attract some 300 sports coaches from around the world and we are going to invite them to our exhibition. This means that we have the opportunity to have an international visitor base for the first time," he said.
A top sporting destination
"We are extremely proud to be able to host to the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange again as it is of tremendous value to us and is the only event of its kind. It promotes South Africa as a top sporting destination and our aim is to showcase Durban and KZN as a premier event destination not only in South Africa, but worldwide too," said James Seymour, CEO of the Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau.
The September programme will also focus on getting consensus for the need to develop a continental strategy. This is particularly relevant in the light of the successful African Cup of Nations 2013 tournament, Pillay added.