At an event last week at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, said that tourism should not only be used to attract visitors for leisure purposes but also for business.

He stated that attracting business tourism to the country is where the money is at, as visitors who attend a business function in another country are likely to spend up to three times more than a leisure tourist.

As a region that is largely dependent on income raised via tourism this is a very important factor for us to take note of.

While it is often reckoned that business travel might be the domain of cities, the Overberg is perfectly poised for growth in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) tourism sector.

Not only are we situated close to the Cape Metropole, but we have an abundance of locations that are well suited for business travel. Taking into consideration that an increasing number of business tourists are combining their trips with leisure travel, we are the ideal option for this market.

In addition, business travel also brings with it the opportunity to attract future investment from visiting corporates. To that end, it is time for the Overberg to position itself not only as a leisure tourism market but also as a destination where investment is welcomed.

Several towns and cities in the country are already actively wooing business owners to relocate their businesses, and we should get in on the act of prioritising the marketing of investment opportunities to visitors.

Tourism should be viewed as a gateway to business investment.

In terms of job creation, the tourism industry is one of the lower hanging fruits, and investments by companies in the area can add invaluable growth to our economy.

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