As is custom with the beginning each new year, we are so often flooded with forward-looking trends and opinions about what is to come across a multitude of industries. The MICE industry is no different and at the beginning of the year, personalised experiences and non-traditional meeting spaces were amongst the top trends predicted for the year in the MICE sphere. “Almost five months into 2017 these predictive trends still hold very true,” says Henk Graaff, Managing Director of SW Africa. “We have definitely experienced a need for more personalised and non-traditional MICE experiences and I guess you can say that we can count ourselves lucky that Southern Africa as our operating environment never fails to present us with opportunities to exceed expectations.”
Regardless of the experience and facilities needed, Southern Africa with its diverse offering of beach, bush and city opportunities, never fails to amaze and inspire, adds Henk. Southern Africa provides an ideal destination for MICE events due to the affordability, accessibility and uniqueness of the region’s many varied locations and available experiences and activities, here’s a round-up of some of the unique and personalised experiences to be found:
Luxury in the fairest Cape
A superior incentive destination, offering not only superb meeting and events venues, but also adventure, culture and top-class food experiences, you cannot go wrong with Cape Town. The Mother City has it all – beaches, Winelands, award-winning restaurants, history and so much more. Looking for a bit of luxury? It is only a train journey away. Arrange for a journey on to the renowned Rovos Rail for a train journey taking travellers from Cape Town to Pretoria. Here they will be spoilt with outstanding cuisine and delectable South African wines. The journey is an experience not to be missed, including a visit to the Victorian village of Matjiesfontein, as well as a longer stop in the historical diamond mining town of Kimberley. In Kimberley visitors will be able to explore the Diamond Mine Museum and the largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole in Kimberley – all showcasing South Africa’s rich diamond history.
A boost of adrenaline in Zimbabwe
Helicopter rides over the Victoria Falls, bungee jumping and wild-water rafting, for a dash of adrenaline to any MICE experience, considers Zimbabwe. Besides the adrenaline filled adventures and activities, the destination has much to offer in terms of venues and facilities for meetings and events. The great news is that Zimbabwe is a destination that allows for much in little time, travellers do not have to spend a week or more to experience the destination, which makes it ideal for meetings, events, and conferences which normally lasts only a few days often leaving little time to spare.
Looking to treat your delegates to the ultimate relaxation experience? With its tropical beaches and warm climate, the Bazaruto Island in Mozambique is just the right choice. Delegates can choose to relax and laze around the swimming pool, or enjoy cocktails on the beach or get pampered at one of the island’s famous spas overlooking the ocean. For those wanting to explore the underwater world, the Bazaruto Archipelago is also one of Africa’s premier diving sites and is home to more than 100 species of coral, dolphins, sharks, thousands of tropical fish species and four whale species.
A desert climate
If it is a ‘wow’ factor delegates are looking for, consider Namibia’s Sossusvlei. With its awe-inspiring sand dunes, the Sossusvlei is ideal for any event. Delegates can look forward to hot-air balloon rides, sandboarding, skydiving and desert safaris. Another benefit to Namibia is that it is a budget-friendly destination, offering a similar value proposition to international travellers as South Africa since the Namibian currency is pegged to the rand. So here incentive travellers can also happily splurge while staying within the budget.