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South Africa highlighted as a top events destination

South Africa's tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk believes the country is fast becoming one of the world's best places to stage major international events.

He suggested that more than 200 important conferences will be staged in the country over the next five years, which will generate billions of rand for the economy.

It is not just conferences and exhibitions that are being taken to South Africa either, as the nation has held a number of top sporting events in the past few years such as the 2010 Fifa World Cup, while Cape Town will assume the title of World Design Capital in 2014.

Mr Van Schalkwyk added that by attracting businesspeople and delegates to places like Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, the chances of them returning on a South Africa holiday in the future are greatly improved.

"South Africa already boasts a 40 per cent return of delegates as leisure visitors, with 43 per cent of all delegates bringing an accompanying person," he remarked.