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Cape Town Tourism, Johannesburg Tourism and Durban Tourism launch the Three Cities Alliance

Cape Town Tourism, Johannesburg Tourism and Durban Tourism launch the Three Cities Alliance

Cape Town Tourism, Johannesburg Tourism and Durban Tourism have joined forces on the Three Cities Alliance marketing initiative after combined insights from 2010 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ reinforced the message that urban tourism and city brands are high on the agenda of most modern-day travellers.

(Caption: Velma Corcoran, Executive Manager Marketing, Cape Town Tourism, Miss World, Lindiwe Kwele, CEO, Joburg Tourism, Nombulelo Mkefa, Director of Tourism, Cape Town Tourism, Phillip Sithole, Durban Tourism)

Our three organisations agree that cities are the leading brands for countries. Cities are globally recognised as the prism through which countries are viewed and are described as a country’s most durable assets. Cities have history, heritage that has stood the test of time and promising developmental futures.

Historically, messaging and marketing for South Africa has focussed on the country’s natural assets and scenic beauty, with less emphasis on South African city offerings as urban destinations. In today’s competitive world, and based on global travel trend insights, it is evident that scenic beauty and natural assets alone will not captivate and keep travellers returning to South Africa. The Three Cities Alliance hopes to see South Africa portrayed in a more holistic light, offering urban diversity of experience in combination with extraordinary beauty and natural assets.

The backbone of the joint marketing agreement consists of product and destination packaging, collaboration on events and trade shows as well as shared collateral and online campaigns. It will see collaboration on marketing and branding initiatives and knowledge exchange at an executive level.


In association with South African Tourism, an international marketing campaign is underway to attract a larger percentage of the urban tourism market. Negotiations with Discovery Channel and National

Geographic have been concluded and a series of programmes have been agreed upon that will showcase the livability of our cities.

In terms of domestic marketing, the three cities will collaborate to leverage local events and align our events calendars where possible, promoting each other’s events and short city break packages.

Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of Johannesburg Tourism said: “All three cities have the confidence to define themselves in the minds of our markets. Johannesburg is a frontier city and personifies urban chic, achievement and a sophisticated energy. Durban is diverse; a leading port city that exemplifies warmth and tradition. Cape Town is a city of inspiration, hope and freedom with a rich cosmopolitan culture set against the backdrop of unprecedented natural beauty.”

Phillip Sithole of eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support, Markets and Durban Tourism added: “One of the secrets of a winning destination is for cities to realize that we are brands; that we should harness our assets. Positive perception, unique identities, authentic experiences and a powerful story is the armoury of a successful city brand.  The joint marketing agreement is a formal recognition of our synergies and will go a long way to present a conducive and integrated city tourism experience for both domestic and international travellers.”

CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, concludes; “Cape Town Tourism and its partners are committed to working with Johannesburg, Durban and SA Tourism to showcase our energetic, dynamic cities – not perfect in any way – but cities in evolution that can be counted amongst the world’s cities of the future. In so doing, we believe South Africa and its urban centres can attract a much more substantial segment of the world’s urban travellers.

Our three cities tell three very different and unique but compelling stories. I strongly believe that we add value to each other’s leisure and business tourism offering and I think that this will also go a long way towards providing the prospective international traveller with a seamless impression of destination South Africa. The time has come for us to use creative and innovative ways to maximise the domestic and international leisure as well as business tourism potential, for all three cities.”