One of the Future Convention Cities Initiative member cities—Durban, South Africa—has just wrapped up successfully hosting the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and FCCI took the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the business events industry and its place in the discussion of carbon emissions, climate change, and environmental politics.
“The pavilion in Durban, alongside a high-profile global business event such as COP17, was an ideal platform to raise awareness of our industry and the benefits it delivers communities, economies, and countries,” said Lyn Lewis-Smith, inaugural chairwoman of FCCI and CEO of Business Events Sydney.
FCCI member cities represented at COP17 were Sydney, Seoul, Toronto, and, of course, Durban. The group welcomed visitors to the pavilion, where they profiled the seven destinations including meeting and conferences facilities, and advances and achievements in sustainable industries.
FCCI Chairwoman Lewis-Smith introduced the FCCI and its industry-leading research into the social legacies of business events to 120 leading South African and Kwazulu-Natal tourism stakeholders. “Formed in early 2011, the FCCI is a group of seven leading business event cities: Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Seoul, Toronto, and Sydney. The group embodies the global nature of the business events market, which was traditionally Euro- or U.S.-centric, but now encompasses Asian, African, and Middle Eastern destinations,” she said.
James Seymour, CEO, Durban Kwazulu-Natal Convention Bureau, said, “The Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism requested that we invite the other member cities of the FCCI to visit Durban in the last week of COP17 to raise awareness of business event legacies, and their value to the local economy and community.”
Exploring one of their member city’s offerings, the FCCI representatives joined a group of 30 international media representatives on a tour of the Isimangaliso World Heritage Site and Hluhluwe Imfolosi Game Reserve.