South Africa reports summit 'profit'

Posted: 17 September 2002

Adding up what delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development spent on accommodation, transport, food and beverages, plus private sector investment, the summit generated more than eight billion rand (US$745.6 million) for South Africa, tourism officials say.

"The results exceeded all expectations," said South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli Moosa.

The official summit and 500 parallel events that were held throughout the country from August 20 to September 4 were analyzed in terms of their economic impact.

The analysts found the summit generated goodwill for the country, and was a profitable venture as well. In just two weeks the summit generated the equivalent of one third of the entire annual contribution of tourism to the South African economy.

Moosa said, "Over and above the applause we received from the international community for the excellent manner in which we, as South Africa, organized this massive event, the study confirms the fact that the summit generated a good return on investment for the country."

More than 400 delegates attending the summit were interviewed about their expenditures in the country. Based on these interviews, the analysts estimate that the 37,000 international delegates who attended the summit spent an average of between R27,000 (US$2,500) and R39,000 (US$3,630) in South Africa.

African art and crafts for sale at the summit Investment from all three levels of government in the summit amounted to about R449 million (US$41.84 million).

The leverage effect of government's contribution from the private sector amounted to about R620 million (US$57.78 million) of which about 60 per cent came from international sponsors and donor agencies.

The analysts concluded that the reputation of South Africa as a tourist destination of choice got a boost from the summit. Eight-four per cent of the delegates surveyed gave South Africa a positive rating to hospitality and friendliness, 70 per cent approved of the personal service, and 60 percent liked the quality of their accommodations.

source: Environment News Service

The full interim report is available at: summit