Hey big donors: Mining Indaba could give another boost to Cape Town tourism

An accommodation package is usually a villa with a cook and, if necessary, a ‘companion’ for those unfamiliar with the city.

  • The annual Mining Indaba takes place in Cape Town in early February and brings more than 6,500 delegates to the city.
  • Luxury accommodation booked by top executives from mining and related companies, as well as spending by hospitality delegates, are making for a significant boost.
  • So far, an agency specializing in luxury accommodation has received requests for budgets of up to R250,000 per night.
  • For more financial news go to go to tea News24 Business front page.

With expected attendance of thousands of delegates – and accommodation budgets of up to R250,000 per night in some cases – Cape Town’s annual Mining Indaba and related activities are expected to trigger a ‘mini-peak season’ for the Mother City’s tourism sector.

Indaba usually attracts more than 6,500 delegates and this year takes place from February 6th to 9th at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC).

“Mining Indaba is helping to bring an element of stability to the city’s tourism industry. This is because it typically occurs when most holidaymakers have departed in December and January, but close enough to somewhat extend the peak period,” says Keegan Lewis of Luxury Villas Cape Town at Chas Everitt International Property Group.

It often allows property owners to extend their rates a bit longer during peak periods, Lewis says.

Officially named Investing in African Mining Indaba, the event has been held annually for the past 27 years. It brings together delegates from across the value chain and attracts young, mid-sized, large mining companies and investors.

According to the organizers, it is also one of the largest gatherings of pan-African ministers.

“It is important to understand how Mining Indaba works. It’s like an ‘advertising platform’ for companies. For example, they would rent a mansion for their top executives, where they often host meetings, events, or mini-gatherings, Lewis says.

Some companies book a year in advance, with many bookings for high-end accommodation.

“The usual package is a villa with a chef and, if necessary, a ‘companion’ for those unfamiliar with the city. It also usually includes a luxury shuttle service and a chauffeur. The executives usually attend various dinners held at other restaurants. They host their own events at the villas. Some host fully staged events, including entertainment,” says Lewis.

“Hotels and restaurants benefit tremendously from delegates attending Mining Indaba as hospitality executives are ‘healthy’ spenders. It also means a good earning opportunity for waiters.”

The Indaba not only attracts top executives and their entourage, but also others involved in the mining industry. Studio apartments within walking distance of the CTICC are popular.

“So far we have received requests for accommodation from around R3,500 per night to a budget of R250,000 per night. Aside from a few inquiries from South Africa, most inquiries came from overseas and the rest of Africa,” says Lewis.

The top-end inquiries are usually for properties along the Atlantic Seaboard due to their easy driving distance from the convention center. When such supplies are scarce, guests typically opt for luxury accommodation in upscale Constantia, says Lewis.

James Vos, a member of the City of Cape Town Mayor’s Committee on Economic Growth, says Africa Mining Indaba injected about R610 million into the Cape region between 2007 and 2015 and created almost 5,000 job opportunities in the city over the entire period of the event.

“It’s one of our most important annual conferences, bringing thousands of delegates to the subway, and an important gathering for creating new business or partnerships,” says Vos.

“With the City continuing to direct funds to the Conventions Bureau through my department, we are working to secure even more important business events for Cape Town.”

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