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Industry Briefs
CAPE TOWN’S PROWESS AS M.I.C.E. DESTINATION ON THE RISE

If you haven't been to Cape Town recently, then you haven't been to Cape Town.  From bustling Century City, one of the 10 largest shopping destinations in South Africa, to a world-class convention center, the Mother City continues to evolve into one of South Africa's most popular and impressive M.I.C.E. destinations.  What makes Cape Town so attractive to meeting and incentive planners?  Not only is it a modern, sophisticated city with a wide choice of high-tech meeting venues and top-of-the-line accommodations to meet every price point, but history and culture are around every corner, and attractions galore are within striking distance of city center.

Anchoring the city's meeting industry is the sprawling Cape Town International Convention Centre.  The recently upgraded and expanded facility has hosted nearly 7,000 events since its 2003 opening, supporting a total of 107,000 jobs.  The CTICC has a total of 133 bookings for events, with 58 international conferences secured and 75 national events contracted until December 2023.

The CTICC is a flexible venue that accommodates a wide variety of functions, with the capacity to host virtually any convention, exhibition, product launch, film shoot or fashion show. If you can imagine it, they can host it.

The facility's spacious venues can be sub-divided and customized with the option of being arranged into separate areas for smaller exhibitions, banquets or conferences.  Features include over 120,000 sq. ft. of column-free exhibit space, a Grand Ballroom able to accommodate 1,300 for sit down banquets, a 1,500-seat auditorium and a 612-seat auditorium, a spectacular Roof Terrace Room and Balcony, perfect for conferences and upscale cocktail receptions for groups as large as 400, six meeting and conference rooms accommodating up to 330 delegates and sub dividable into separate meeting rooms, and 13 meeting suites for more intimate gatherings. Plus there are the Centre's Main Foyer, Registration Foyer, two multi-functional dining areas, and a three-story gallery that spans the entire length of the CTICC, connecting venues and enhancing flow to provide visitors and delegates with easy, more efficient traffic flow.

Many of Cape Town's hotels offer meeting space as well.  In addition to boasting 125 rooms, the Century City Hotel is versatile and fully equipped, accommodating up to 1,900 guests across 20 different venues, providing the ideal location for all events. Everything from corporate conferences and product expos, to gala dinners, concerts and more.  The property's Conference Centre features four large halls, three of which may be combined, a spacious, open-plan foyer suitable for exhibitions, launches and cocktail parties, 11 meeting rooms, ranging in size from 323 to 753 sq. ft., an 80-seat business lounge with boutique buffet refreshments, and Century City Square, an event venue of 13,000 sq. ft.

Other possibilities include StayEasy Century City Conference Venue (each conference room caters to between 18 and 30 people), Conference Centre at the Caledon Casino Hotel & Spa (catering for groups from small to large), Cape Sun (classy and elegant venues can comfortably host anything from 10 to 650 delegates in state-of- the-art facilities), Tsogo Sun Waterfront (high quality conference facilities for groups that range from between 10 and 60 delegates with two rooms available), Sun Square Cape Town (with space to host up to 120 delegates), Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard (for conferences as small as 20, right through to 300 delegates), the 5-star Westin Grand Hotel (offering 19 individual venues, catering for intimate meetings of up to 8, all the way through to large events for up to 600), Belmont Square Conference Centre (offers facilities from groups as intimate as four, right up to 400, in ten separate venues), and the Chapman's Peak Hotel (offers modern and professional conference facilities in three rooms).

When the workday is done, Cape Town offers many opportunities for cultural enrichment, recreation and entertainment.   A must-see attraction is the infamous Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most significant historical sites in South Africa, if not Africa. A former political prisoner serves as your guide telling interesting stories about the island, and famous ex-inmates like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki. 

Be sure to block out enough time to visit the iconic Table Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Boulders Beach, one of the few sites in the world where the endangered African penguins can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment. The beach is also surrounded by large 540 million year-old granite boulders, small rock pools and little bays in close proximity of the flightless little swimming birds.

For shoppers, the V&A Waterfront is a world-class retail and entertainment precinct offering more than 80 eateries, 450 shops, museums, ocean activities, and fun experiences. The new Silo Precinct is an exciting new development that will be home to Zeitz MOCAA, two new hotels, shops and restaurants.  Cape Town is also the home to nine international Blue Flag beaches including Bikini, Camps Bay, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Llandudno, Clifton 4th and Melkbosstrand.

For more information about meeting in Cape Town, contact Corne Koch at the Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau at corne@wesgro.co.za or visit www.capetownconventionbureau.org.

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