South Africa Says Summit Profitable

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 16, 2002 (ENS) - Adding up what delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development spent on accommodation, transport, food and beverages, plus private sector investment, the summit generated more than eight billion rand (US$745.6 million) for South Africa, tourism officials say. “The results exceeded all expectations," said South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli Moosa.

The official summit and 500 parallel events that were held throughout the country from August 20 through September 4 were analyzed in terms of their economic impact.


Dancers welcome summit participants at Ubuntu Village on August 25.(Photos courtesy IISD-ENB)
A team of professional consultants from the Bureau for Market Research based at the University of South Africa, Iklwa Structured Financial Products, and economists from UrbanEcon conducted the survey, which was commissioned by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

The analysts found the summit generated good will for the country, and was a profitable venture as well. In just two weeks the summit generated the equivalent of one third of the entire annual contribution of tourism to the South African economy.

Moosa said, "Over and above the applause we received from the international community for the excellent manner in which we, as South Africa, organized this massive event, the study confirms the fact that the summit generated a good return on investment for the country.”

More than 400 delegates attending the summit were interviewed about their expenditures in the country. Based on these interviews, the analysts estimate that the 37,000 international delegates who attended the summit spent an average of between R27,000 (US$2,500) and R39,000 (US$3,630) in South Africa.


African art and crafts for sale at the summit
Investment from all three levels of government in the summit amounted to about R449 million (US$41.84 million).

The leverage effect of government’s contribution from the private sector amounted to about R620 million (US$57.78 million) of which about 60 percent came from international sponsors and donor agencies.

The analysts concluded that the reputation of South Africa as a tourist destination of choice got a boost from the summit. Eight-four percent of the delegates surveyed gave South Africa a positive rating to hospitality and friendliness, 70 percent approved of the personal service, and 60 percent liked the quality of their accommodations.

The full interim report is available at: A detailed final report will be available by the end of November 2002.