Johannesburg is steadily prospering, building up a solid reputation as not only an African business hub, but a global one.
AT the close of 2013, Cape Town could bask in the glory of a good year, having been awarded World Design Capital for 2014, and then subsequently been recommended by Lonely Planet as the third best city in the world to visit. Indeed the success of the city has overshadowed the quieter progress of the larger state capital, that hasn’t shone as bright since the final whistle of the 2010 Football World Cup.
Johannesburg has greater obstacles to overcome in attracting holiday-makers than those of Cape Town with its stunning natural beauty. However it continues to excel in a different light to that of Cape Town, with its greater emphasis on business and finance. These sectors have long been dominated by Johannesburg, and continue to do so, with last year over a third of both national and international visitors to the city travelling on business.
The city authorities suffered an embarrassment earlier last year when they were asked by the Advertising Standards Authority to discontinue a radio advertisement that described Johannesburg as a ‘world-class African city.’ The ASA acted after a resident of the city reported the advert, claiming that it was telling deliberate untruths when it claimed to be ‘…a city where you can rest assured, knowing that it is financially stable.’
Despite this resident’s concerns, and valid though they may be, over a broad spectrum of sectors, Johannesburg is steadily prospering, building up a solid reputation as not only an African business hub, but a global one.
Top Business destination
The success of OR Tambo International Airport has undoubtedly been a large factor in the city’s growth over the last few years, and has enabled it to comfortably handle the increased amount of visitors. Fifty-five airlines now fly to Tambo and this looks to increase as the city becomes yet more hospitable to business travel. According to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities, the city saw a record 2.54 million annual visitors in 2013 making it the most popular destination in Africa.
Chauffeured limousine services transport visitors quickly and comfortably from the airports to one of the city’s many conference centres. It is in these smart conference centres that this year, Johannesburg will be hosting both the C40 Summit on Climate Change and the World Congress of Healthy Ageing.
Indeed, the future is bright for the city. 2014 had already begun well, as in the last days of 2013 the ASA’s ruling was overturned on appeal. Once again, and deservedly so, Johannesburg can claim to be a world-class city.