Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism wins bid to host international medical convention

JUNE 12, 2015

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) is proud to announce that the Biennial Congress of The South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) from 14th -17th September 2016 at the Sun Boardwalk Convention Centre.

The theme for the conference is Travel Health Africa. The SASTM’s Mission is to guide the profession in all aspects relating to the practice of travel medicine, liaise with the travel industry, consult with relevant authorities, advise the public and collaborate nationally and internationally on all aspects relating to Travel Medicine.

Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO of NMBT confirmed this announcement when sharing, “Nelson Mandela Bay is gaining momentum as a preferred destination of choice in a variety of sectors such as cruise liner tourism and especially business events. We are exceptionally excited to have been chosen as the host city of the Biennial Congress of SASTM over and above our tough counterparts and neighbouring cities.”

NMBT knew they stood a good chance to win the bid to become the future host city of this prestigious event after a request from Dr Garth Brink, the local representative of SASTM requested destination information that would complete their bid submission.

This was followed by an appointment with NMBT representatives at Meetings Africa 2015 where NMBT sealed the deal showcasing the destinations positive attributes alongside world class facilities and attractions. Factors which contributed to NMB becoming a host destination included the venue of the congress which will be the Sun Boardwalk Convention Centre as well as surrounding activities and attractions which will be frequented on pre and post tours. One of the additional valuable draw cards for NMB is the proximity of the airport to the event venue as well as accommodation facilities.

“Time has become a precious commodity for many in life and the 10 – 15 minute trip to and from the Port Elizabeth International Airport plays favourably for our city and those that wish to conserve time,” confirmed Ms Skefile.

The 14th International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) took place in Quebec City, Canada where approximately 1 500 delegates attended this annual conference from around the globe.

NMBT will be assisting the association to encourage the delegates and exhibitors to attend the local conference in 2016 through sharing and showcasing the destinations offerings. The “bleisure tourism” (business and leisure) aspect for NMB which is business travel combined with leisure travel is highly attractive for delegates.

NMB is the ideal bleisure destination and this encourages business delegates to extend their stay to enjoy leisure activities and for some to have their families accompany them on their travels in turn increasing the economic contribution by the tourism sector in NMB.

An amount of 400 delegates from Southern Africa are expected to attend the annual conference with an anticipated higher number of delegates from around the world to the conference delegates to be between 800 -1000. NMBT will continue to increase business events in Nelson Mandela Bay. Business events are an important economic contributor in terms of the tourism sector.

The sector generates a large number of permanent and temporary jobs in the field of events' supply chain, organization and management in addition to accompanied services. In conjunction with the SASTM conference the 7th Regional Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine will run concurrently to the Congress of The South African Society of Travel Medicine. NMBT looks forward to sharing a warm and friendly welcome with the delegates to Home of freedom in 2016.

Image: Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO of NMBT. Source: www.apdec.org.za