Convention @ Cape Town

After two back-to-back conventions in Southeast Asia, the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) has chosen South African port city of Cape town for its grand convention from August 11-14.

Hazel Jain

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) has announced that it will conduct its next annual convention in Cape Town from August 11-14, 2018. These details were shared by
Mahendra Vakharia, President, OTOAI, who said, “The convention will be followed by a three-night post-convention tour for our members and we urge them to block these dates at their earliest.”

Responding to the water crisis issue reported by mainstream media recently, he added, “There is absolutely no problem with water there. Tourism has not been affected at all and the industry is more than equipped to handle this situation.” Vakharia added that the team is working with a local partner in Cape Town for this event.

Sharing more details is Himanshu Patil, Vice President, OTOAI, and Convention Chairman, who says, “We will be staying at the Taj Cape Town for three nights of the convention and then we will have post tours to Kruger National Park, the Garden Route, and Cape Town city attractions. So far, all our conventions were conducted in South East Asia so this year we wanted to go beyond that region. South Africa as you know has a lot to see and explore.” The team will finalise the convention theme and agenda soon.

The association conducted its first convention in the Philippines followed by Bali in Indonesia. Patil adds, “As always, we expect outbound tourism from India to South Africa will grow phenomenally after our event. This is because our members tend to push that particular destination after having visited it. For instance, after our convention in the Philippines, it saw a growth of about 37 per cent.”

“The convention will be followed by a three-night post-convention tour for our members and we urge them to block these dates at their earliest. The team is working with a local partner in Cape Town for this event”

The convention committee is hoping to get about 200-plus registrations for this convention. “We have started discussions with airlines for this convention and the registration fee and the itinerary will be announced soon.”

Sharing an insight on the alleged water crisis, Hanneli Slabber, Regional General Manager (Asia, Australasia, Middle East), South Africa Tourism, said, “We need to sort out the myth from reality, which is that Cape Town is open for business, that it has enough water. What we are doing is we are trying to be more responsible and sustainable in all our tourism activities as well as everyday lives in South Africa. Cape Town has protected business centres under which all the tourism sectors fall. But I think the best thing about Cape Town at the moment is that innovation has come from this. There is no reason not to travel to South Africa.”

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