By Ashok Ramsarup :: Durban’s International Convention Centre (ICC) has triumphed with two top honours in the world despite the deadly coronavirus crippled the tourism industry.
They have scooped the “Africa’s Best Convention Centre 2020” and “South Africa’s Best Convention Centre 2020” awards by The World MICE Awards”, the sister event of World Travel Awards, established in 1994 to celebrate excellence in travel and tourism. MICE which is the acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions programme aims to boost growth, innovations and best practice on a global scale.
Durban ICC Chief Executive Officer Lindiwe Rakharebesaid: “We are thrilled with the announcement of these two accolades after coronavirus pandemic had taken the world by storm.”
Rakharebe said: “The accolades can be attributed to the dedicated staff who worked above the call of duty to deliver exceptional event experiences to all the clients. These awards have affirmed that commitment to world-class service excellence and cemented our reputation as the best convention centre on the African continent and put South Africa on the global map.”
“The annual awards programme aims to drive up standards within the MICE industry by rewarding the organisations that are leaders in their field. It was developed in reaction to overwhelming demand from the MICE sector for a programmethat was fair and transparent with the mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence, and help to foster a new era of growth, innovations and best practice on a global scale,” added Rakharebe.
World MICE Awards Director Rina van Staden paid tribute to the Durban ICC. Commenting on the awards, van Staden said: “The winners have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges that ultimately represented the best of the MICE industry.”
The iconic Durban ICC in the port city, that was officially opened by former President Nelson Mandela in 1977, helped to create more than 125 320 jobs. According to a report, three million South Africans lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, plummeting the economy.
The Durban ICC is built on the site of the old Durban Central Prison, and today it stands tall as an important milestone in the country’s freedom and democracy. Many dignitaries, presidents, actors, musicians were hosted at the centre.