Durban dramatically improves its International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking

Aerial portrait cThe city of Durban added another feather to its cap, since climbing to second place as Africa’s busiest business tourism and events destination in 2013. This came after ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) released the statistics in May this year highlighting that Durban had significantly improved its rankings on the continent.

In the latest rankings Durban has moved up 60 places to the 97th spot, which is a momentous progression, and continues the improvement achieved over the last three years. In 2011, Durban was ranked 173rd in the world and moved up to 157th place in 2012.

ICCA is a not-for-profit trade organisation whose primary purpose is to be the global community for the meetings industry, enabling its members to generate and maintain significant competitive advantage. It has almost 1000 members in over 90 different countries.

The Durban International Convention Centre continues to act as a catalyst for the economic wellbeing of the tourism industry in the city and region. The centre has been the trailblazer for the growth of the conferencing, meetings and exhibitions industry in South Africa since its inception.

James Seymour, CEO of the Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau said, “Durban and KwaZulu-Natal have secured the business tourism best events destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) award for the second year in a row. This is a fitting accolade to the wide range of highly professional and experienced business event service providers and venues in our province. Amongst them is the Durban ICC, which is without a doubt the best facility of its kind in Africa and one of the best in world.”

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Michael Mabuyakhulu said, “The ICCA today released their latest city rankings for accredited international meetings hosted in 2013 and Durban’s world ranking is now 97, a jump of 60 places in just one year.”

“This incredible improvement in rank can be ascribed to the commitment of the Durban KZN Convention Bureau’s efforts in securing events and streamlining the collation process of qualifying information and the submission to ICCA”, said an overjoyed Mabuyakhulu.

The city held 25 meetings which allowed the Durban ICC to play host to majority of the conferences. These meetings are accredited by ICCA and rotate between three countries and attract at least of 50 participants.

Head of Durban Tourism Mr Phillip Sithole, said Durban exceeded Nairobi which is traditionally known as the second, best performing business event destination in terms of ICCA events in Africa. He said, “For us to secure this spot is most rewarding. We know that these types of meetings bring huge financial benefit for the city and provide an opportunity, to showcase what our entire city has to offer travellers in both business and leisure.”

Sadha Naidoo, chairman of the Tourism KwaZulu-Natal board further explained that through the securing of major business events such as the World Association of Co-operative Education, the 6th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria Pan African Conference and the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), the city’s position is being entrenched.

Naidoo said, “It is through the strong partnerships with the Durban ICC, the city’s tourism authority Durban Tourism, as well as organizations such as the Medical Research Council and the Durban University of Technology, that we have been able to achieve such results – our combined efforts are bearing the fruit that was sown back in 2009, when the Durban KZN Convention Bureau was established.”