Leaving aside clichés about stunning vistas and vibrant cultural diversity, why should events organisers in Australia and elsewhere consider South Africa as a destination? Isn’t it, well, dangerous?
“Pure and simple, it’s a value-for-money destination,” says Yolanda Woeke-Jacobs, Director Sales & Marketing of destination management company Dragonfly. “You get great bang for your buck.”
Indeed you currently get 9.8 rands for an Australian buck, which means, for example, that a fillet steak at the swanky Harbour House restaurant at Cape Town’s Victoria and Albert waterfront will set Australian visitors back about $17. And that’s really top-end. At the very pleasant Peninsula Hotel restaurant in the same city, a main course will cost R60 to R80 (AUD 6-8). In most restaurants a bottle of excellent local red retails for $5 to $8.
As an incentive destination, South Africa is an obvious choice, Yolanda says, because the motivation factor is “huge . . . it’s on everyone’s bucket list.”
Yes, but what about security? Don’t South Africans often skirt, or fail to address, this issue, which genuinely worries many would-be MICE visitors?
“Security’s a problem in any big city nowadays, so we recommend people be alert and not go into areas that are unsuitable for tourists, or after dark,” says Yolanda.
She and her colleagues never take guests into areas in which they’ll be in any peril. They host and look after thousands of visitors every year and have never had an incident, she says.
“Bear in mind tourism is one of our country’s biggest industries and sources of income, so we need to ensure tourists are looked after. We’ve been operating for over 30 years so we understand the destination, the culture and the Australian ‘MICE’ client’s expectations.”
$2,335 for a five-day package including Cape Town and Lost City
For AUD2,335 per person sharing, Dragonfly will set incentive visitors up for three nights at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, and two nights at the Palace of the Lost City Hotel at Sun City, two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Johannesburg – both super-luxurious. (And there’s an option to extend the trip for a two-day visit to the Royal Livingstone Hotel at Victoria Falls.)
This package, one of many, includes transfers, cocktail functions, dinners and other meals with a specified drinks allowance, tours, safaris, meet-and-assists, gratuities and more. The rate is based on 40 participants sharing and is valid until 30 November 2014.