The Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) Conference and Exhibition, taking place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), kicked off with the first mornings’ session that wrapped up with key speakers delivering some thought provoking views on hosting events in our cities around South Africa.
The event commenced on a sombre note as the programme director, Mr Sugen Pillay, Commercial Director for Thebe Reed Exhibitions, invited the conference participants to take a moment to pay their respects to the SA sports stars who have passed on this month.
The tempo was quickly picked up though as Councillor Logie Naidoo, of the eThekwini Municipality welcomed the delegates and delighted all by revealing that in the near future Durban will be host to a high performance sports academy, that the city of Durban will now be an official partner for the Sharks Rugby team and that Liverpool Football Club will soon be establishing a base in the KZN City. In addition he confirmed that the City of Durban is waiting for the go ahead from government to confirm the bid to host the Commonwealth Games for 2022, good news to start all the discussions and debates.
SASCOC and CATHSSETA were present too to reiterate their support to the 4th SETE Conference and Exhibition and the delegates were also treated to an address by the HOD for the Department of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ms Rohini Naidoo who pledged the provinces commitment to sport and the impact it has on socio-economic issues.
Gillian Saunders, Head of Advisory Services at Grant Thornton gave her expert analysis and insights on Global and National Trends of the Sports and Events Tourism Industry. The day went on with Graham Brown, Professor of Tourism Management at the University of South Australia and Larry Sengstock, CEO at Melbourne Commonwealth Games, speaking on experience of cities that hosted Multi-Sport Events. Coming up later today, SETE has Guy Masterman, Head of the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity at Sheffield Hallam University speaking on Planning for Event Legacies using Multi-Sport Event Cast Studies. In addition, conference attendees can look forward to; Steve Bainbridge, Regional Head of Sports Law at Al Tamimi and Company, Chris Bruwer the General Manager at Comrades Marathon, Rashid Lombard, Founder and CEO of the Cape Jazz Festival and David Bellairs, CEO of Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust.
Last night, SETE welcomed exhibitors and International Hosted Buyers with an elite networking cocktail event, at Sky Venue at the Maharani Hotel in Durban. Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Thebe Reed Exhibitions, the organisers of SETE said, “Sports tourism is a growing global industry with significant implications for the event and for the ripple effect of travel and tourism in the host cities. We at SETE hope our delegates make all the right business connections over the next two days at the conference and exhibition.”
SETE is aimed at promoting South Africa as a Sports events and tourism destination and will attract leaders from the sports and tourism industries within the private and public sectors, setting the stage for many a debate around the importance of international events being hosted in Southern Africa and the economic benefits thereof.
The Sports and Events Tourism Exchange is hosted by the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, partnered by CATHSSETA, SASCOC, Tourism KZN and Durban Tourism, South African Airways, Tsogo Sun and supported by Durban KZN Convention Bureau and the exclusive broadcasting partner SABC Sport and Radio 2000.