ADVERTORIAL: Cape Town – An inspiring place to meet

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Cape Town is one of the leading cities in Africa, the second-most populated city in South Africa and the legislative capital of the country. It is an economic powerhouse with a good climate, spectacular natural beauty, a fine academic legacy and an impressive portfolio of history-makers, and the number one convention city in Africa, according to the ICCA 2015 report. Here at the crossroads of most important trade routes, situated at the gateway to Africa, an innovative local government initiative to slash red tape and fast-track logistics is positioning Cape Town as a business hub that consistently outperforms the rest of the country in terms of economic growth. Thanks to its advanced infrastructure and technology, economic incentives and improved air access, this region is positioned as a hub for doing business in Africa and no better place to select as choice for hosting a business event. The destination looks forward to several new developments set to raise the global competitiveness of Cape Town and the Western Cape as a premier world class meetings and events destination. The Cape Town International Convention Centre’s (CTICC) will double the centre’s exhibition capacity by adding 10,000m2 of flexible space, earmarked for completion in 2017. Century City Conference Centre Hotel opened its doors early 2015 in the Bridgeways precinct, adding meeting facilities that not only complement existing facilities in the city, but caters for meetings in the 500 to 1,200 pax category. Cape Town’s central business district’s inventory of accommodation will increase from early 2017 by an estimated 735 rooms. The new Radisson Red Hotel will be a first of its kind in Africa, Europe and the Middle East and will offer 235 rooms built in the Silo district at the V&A Waterfront. Tsogo Sun will be adding an additional 500-room complex to the city that will cater to the two and three star category. Further developments in the destination is the official launch of Cape Town Air Access in 2016. The launch establishes Cape Town Air Access as the focal point for international air route development in the Western Cape and signifies an impressive collaboration between the Western Cape provincial government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Wesgro and the private sector. The primary mandate of the team is to promote, develop and maintain air routes in and out of Cape Town International Airport, fulfilling the needs of route retention, expansion and new route establishments. Confirmed for 2016 are two additional direct flights by Ethiopian Airlines, the new Airlink flight to Maun (Botswana), a Cape-to-Kenya-via-Livingstone connection and additional capacity on the London connection as Thomas Cook will operate three direct flights from Gatwick to Cape Town in the next summer season. For conferences, there are many outstanding venues ideal for meetings, conventions, incentives and exhibition. These include city centre locations, as well as hotels, conference centres, lodges, wine farms and guest houses set in beautiful countryside – often with a scenic backdrop. With all the charm and ingenuity of a developing nation, yet underscored by sophistication and technological ability to rival any modern city in the world, Cape Town just may be the best-kept secret of experienced travellers.