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Cape Town: Collaboration the key for tourism development

Cape Town: Collaboration the key for tourism development

Two weeks after one of the most successful World Travel Market trade shows in London, Cape Town and the Western Cape are collaboratively gearing up for the city and region’s peak tourism season. Cape Town and the Western Cape’s tourism marketing organizations, Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro, joined forces at World Travel Market and presented Cape Town and surrounding regions as interchangeable parts of a whole experience.

Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, Cape Town Tourism CEO, represented the two organizations in London and reported that this year’s World Travel Market was a very successful and focused event marked by a sense of willingness to collaborate across various platforms. “From airline partners to industry champions and media, we saw that people want to get together and share their time, expertise, and assets. There was a lot of interest in Cape Town, the Western Cape – and South Africa – as a tourism destination.”

Some of the highlights from World Travel Market included:

-The release of Euromonitor’s latest Global Trends Report.

-Huge interest and emphasis on the role of digital marketing and social media in travel and tourism marketing. South African Tourism and the official tourism organizations for Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town joining forces to host selected top travel bloggers from new and traditional source markets as a #loveSouthAfrica campaign in 2013, an extension of Cape Town Tourism’s highly-successful #LoveCapeTown campaign. #LoveCapeTown was selected as a case study for the white paper, Best Practices in Blogging (M. Boecher, O. Gradwell, K. Jenkins, J. Waugh, and Four bgb in association with World Travel Market) which was released at this year’s World Travel Market in London.


-The interest in Cape Town as a business destination is growing. South Africa was recently announced as the winner of the National Outsourcing Association’s (NOA’s) Offshoring Destination of the Year Award. Cape Town is South Africa’s leading city for BPO and has numerous call centers for new international companies. The BPO industry employs 33,500 people and is worth R7.9 billion. It is also the preferred location for the expansion of various domestic and international operations in recent years. Cape Town hosts a number of leading global brands including Amazon, ASDA, Bloomberg, British Gas, iiNet, Shell, Shop Direct, and T-Mobile. Cape Town Tourism will work closely with the City of Cape Town to ensure a balanced tourism destination marketing messaging reflecting Cape Town’s tourism and business offering.

-A strong message from international tourism ministers that complicated visa processes and policies that limit air connectivity continue to present major barriers to the growth of travel and tourism. Ministers and representatives of major tour operators and airlines further called for increased intra-governmental cooperation and support from the highest levels of government to break such barriers. CEO of Wesgro, Nils Flaatten, commented: “Cape Town is becoming the launch pad for doing business on the west coast of Africa and air connectivity is critical for both leisure and business tourism. A national airlift strategy has been mooted for years by national government. We need to have a national debate and consensus on what airlift strategy best meets the region’s economic needs.”

Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro will continue to represent the leisure and business tourism offering of Cape Town and the Western Cape at upcoming trade shows and international tourism road shows in both new and traditional markets.
Concluded Du Toit-Helmbold: “The message from the international trade and media is clear: Cape Town and the Western Cape remains an extremely desirable destination for our key source markets and increasingly for new source markets. International visitors spend around R22 billion per annum in the Western Cape and the tourism industry is one of the top three employers in the region. Through collaboration Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro will amplify our marketing activities to present a unified message of tourism and tourism development for the region. Cape Town’s proximity to the diverse and beautiful regions of the Western Cape offering visitors an unprecedented variety of authentic urban, nature, and cultural experiences, give us a competitive edge that we must use to our advantage to grow our market share.”