31 March 2022

The students from the Bachelor of Arts programme, Mr Bonginkosi Hlatshwayo and Ms Reamogetse Segooa, both respectively achieved a distinction in the Tourism Module. They had to present on a brief titled: South Africa’s most sustainable incentive trip, and had to work in groups with students from other institutions. 

This year, unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) in conjunction with the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) and Tourism Educators of South Africa (TESA) hosted the Meetings Africa Youth Programme at Meeting Africa 2022 instead of the IMEX-Future Leaders Programme.

UMP Tourism and Heritage Lecturer and UMP Coordinator for this initiate, Dr Precious Shabalala, explains that the teams were expected to come up with an exciting concept for South Africa’s most sustainable incentive trip for 50 people and present it as an Incentive Travel company that is motivated to win Brightways as a new client.

“The groups were expected to come up with an attractive two-day programme for the consultancy firm: Brightways, adhering to the criteria presented during the brief. In addition, in groups they had to decide on one or several presenters who would then present their idea,” explains Dr Shabalala.

UMPUMP delegates with Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.

Encouraging the best and brightest

Meetings Africa is a platform where exhibitors such as hotel groups and tourism associations from across the country and continent exhibit their product/services, with plenty of opportunities to meet potential buyers or even partners/collaborators.

Exhibitors meet with buyers, who are international visitors with an interest and the capacity to host conferences or various meetings in different fields. The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) is responsible for facilitating a meeting between exhibitors and buyers, and one of the ways it does this is through a diary system, where each buyer has to have at least 20 meetings in one day with the different exhibitors. 

SANCB has also been working on one of their projects to recover the industry, which includes working with 27 small towns, three from each province, and has identified 50 national associations in different fields, from the bees association to engineering, science and technology.  

UMPUMP Meetings participants: Bonginkosi Hlatshwayo and Reamogetse Segooa.

Dr Shabalala further explains that the programme has been developed to encourage the best and brightest students to develop successful careers in the meetings and events industry.

“Over the two days, the students were exposed to valuable industry contacts and benefitted from high-quality education through the Master Class. They also gained expert insights into the meetings industry, and learned from one another as students.  Over and above, the students had an opportunity rub shoulders with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Tourism,” she adds.

As a UMP coordinator for this initiative, I am grateful for the continuous support received from MTPA and the organisers of the event. When UMP initially attended this event, they supported me when I motivated for our students to attend Meetings Africa 2019,.

I would like to extend my appreciation to my line manager, Prof Sibanyoni, and my Programme leader, Dr Ngobese, for their support. I extend my gratitude to our Faculty and UMP management for their support."

@ Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures Supplied.