November 15, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

As vaccination rates rise and the world looks to resume travel on a larger scale, South African Tourism wants its share of international business and leisure visitors again.

Meetings Africa will again take place from February 28 to March 2, 2022, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, after a one-year break due to the pandemic.

The last Meetings Africa went ahead in February 2020, just before COVID-19 forced the halt of global travel and events.

Tourism marketing event Africa’s Travel Indaba will also take place again in 2022 – after a two-year hiatus – from May 2-5 at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

Both events are organised by South African Tourism and will have some limited virtual elements in 2022.

As the organisation looks to restart interest in tourism and business events in South Africa, the country has seen a significant slowing in COVID-19 cases – under 400 daily in a country of around 60 million, however testing rates remain exceptionally low by Australian standards, with daily testing numbers generally not exceeding 35,000 tests.

The country aims to have 70 percent of its population vaccinated by the end of 2021, however vaccination rates remain low, with just under 24 million jabs administered. South Africa is using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as one of its options, which only requires a single dose, however Pfizer is the more commonly administered vaccine.

Under the current government settings in South Africa, indoor events of up to 750 can take place, with a cap on outdoor events of 2,000. There is a limited curfew in place, preventing movement between midnight and 4am.

“We are very pleased to bring Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba back,” said Acting CEO of South African Tourism, Sthembiso Dlamini.

“The need for physical events and face-to-face encounters is evident in both the industry and the public. The experiences over the last months have shown that on-location events can take place safely and successfully, and demonstrate how important they are for dialogue and exchange.

“Hosting Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba will certainly show our exhibitors, buyers, and the world, that South Africa is open for business and that the South African tourism sector has world-class COVID-19 safety protocols in place to deliver on memorable experiences and events.

“South Africa is ready and well prepared to welcome delegates from across the world,” said Dlamini.

Registration details for both events will be announced shortly.