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Africa’s premier convention centre contributing to Cape Town’s success

23 June 2018

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has significantly contributed to Cape Town’s rise as a top global meetings and conferencing destination.

The centre is one of the most sought-after venues for meetings, conferences and exhibitions in Africa. Located within walking distance of a number of premium hotels and the popular V&A Waterfront, the CTICC offers world-class facilities, ample parking and staff that pay meticulous attention to detail.

At the official opening in June 2003, then-President Thabo Mbeki described the CTICC as a “symbol of hope… and a symbol of future prosperity”. Fast-forward to 2019 and the centre, regarded one of the best in Africa, is on an upward trajectory. Last year, the CTICC reported outstanding financial results, including over ZAR200m in revenue and ZAR65m in operating profit.

“The CTICC has certainly lived up to former President Mbeki’s words,” says CTICC chief executive, Julie-May Ellingson.

The CTICC has played a significant role in Cape Town’s ranking as the top meetings and events destination in Africa (as measured by the International Congress and Convention Association, ICCA). Over the past 13 years, the centre has contributed over ZAR32.5bn to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ZAR28.8bn to the Western Cape Gross Geographic Product (GGP). It has also sustained over 98 000 jobs directly and indirectly through its business operations.

The CTICC’s success in hosting events of global significance and varying sizes confirms its standing as a truly international institution. Of the 504 events hosted at the CTICC in 2016, 39 were international conferences. As a result of its overwhelming success, the CTICC has expanded. The construction of the CTICC East building, which provides an additional 31 148m2 of space, opened in 2017.

The expansion project was aligned to the CTICC’s goal to be one of the world’s top 10 leading, long-haul, international convention centres by 2020. “Early on its history, the CTICC Board realised that expansion would be required in order for the Centre and Cape Town to remain globally competitive as a meetings and events destination,” says Ellingson. “The expansion will not only enable us to host more events and larger events, but it will also provide us with the flexibility to host large-scale events concurrently. The expansion also provides the necessary capacity for clients who wish to growth their events.”

More specifically, the expansion has added some 10 000m2 of multi-purpose conference and exhibition space and 3 000m2 of formal and informal meeting space. Facilities at the new building include six exhibition halls, four meeting suites, five meeting pod rooms, two terrace rooms, three kitchens, a rooftop garden as well as a new coffee shop.

In keeping with its sustainability commitment, the CTICC East was awarded a Four Star Green Building Rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. “We’ve paid considerable attention to climate control measures, especially concerning the extensive use of glass for natural light and minimizing direct sunlight during daylight hours. The design also includes energy saving devices, electrical sub-metering, water conservation, waste management and local sourcing of products.”

The CTICC East expansion project has also served as a catalyst for the Foreshore Precinct Development project (FPDP) which will see billions of Rands being invested in the Foreshore area over the next 10 years.