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How Business Events Boost the South African Economy

Updated: May 25, 2020

South African is gaining a reputation as a desirable business destination, well suited to large corporate events and exhibitions. With a great climate, friendly people, a population that can speak English and more- South Africa has a lot to offer businesses and corporations looking to host functions and events.

South Africa is currently regarded as the number-one convention destination in Africa and the Middle East and is 39th internationally.  South Africa boasts more than 1,700 meeting, incentives, conference and exhibition event venues, the largest of which can accommodate more than 20 000 visitors.

It has previously been reported that business visitors, on average, spend more money than the average leisure traveller. Business visitors typically spend large amounts on accommodation, restaurants, local services and experiences and more.  The effects of business events, therefore, spread further than the events industry, impacting various sectors of the service industry, hospitality and other industries.

South Africa welcomes more than one million business event delegates every year, creating thousands of jobs and supporting the South African economy. The value that business tourism contributes should not be understated, as this industry contributes a significant portion to the country’s GDP. In 2017, business tourism contributed R115bn to the economy, representing 9.4% of South Africa’s gross GDP that year.  Business tourism events involve the use of local venues, local vendors and services and allows for the expansion of skills and business on South African soil. In 2018, it was reported that business events support over 250 000 jobs, whether directly or indirectly.

The South African National Convention Bureau hosted 207 international conferences between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, thereby attracting approximately 87 000 delegates- and representing a R2.5bn contribution to the South African economy.  This is no small feat, and it’s important that event planners recognise and use the opportunities presented by business tourism and business events.

Business events include functions such as;

-        Product launches

-        Trade shows

-        Conventions

-        Exhibitions

-        Incentive programs

-        Executive retreats

-        Team-building events

-        Golf events

-        Board meetings

At Yours Eventfully, corporate functions and private events are our priority. Make your year-end corporate event memorable with our professional bespoke solutions, comprising of staging, décor, design, coordination, gifting and everything in between.

Our team has over ten years of experience within the event and exhibition industries, making Yours Eventfully the perfect fit for the perfect function. For any questions, queries or remarks, please contact us at 087 551 1555 or send an email to

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