City kicks off Tourism Month with Freedom to Wish initiative for Capetonians
5 September 2022
This week, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, and the CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, kicked off Tourism Month at the Cape Town Ziplines sharing details of a series of exciting activations that showcase Cape Town’s world-class, diverse destination offering, including the launch of “Freedom to Wish” – a give-back initiative for locals. Read more below:
Speaking to media, Alderman Vos said the holiday season looks set to be a busy one and this was an important time to highlight the variety of experiences tourists can find around the metro.
Airlines from the US, UK and Europe are scheduled to increase flights into Cape Town International Airport over the coming weeks. The new Washington route from United Airlines alone is expected to generate up to R523 million in direct tourism spend for the Western Cape in its first year. Turning oceanward, we can also look forward to a total of 104 ship visits with almost 200 000 visitors over the 2022/23 cruise season, unlocking hundreds of millions in estimated passenger spend.
Our goal over the next four weeks is to show that Cape Town has something for every kind of traveller to enjoy and also to connect with tourism businesses and remind them of all the City’s support systems.
‘For example, Cape Town Tourism (CTT), the City’s official Destination Marketing Organisation, has rolled out a Neighbourhood Experience Development training manual to help guide SMMEs in developing their businesses and to encourage neighbourhood readiness. The manual was drafted by experts at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and includes detailed modules on tourist-friendly business models, conducting market research cultural understandings. CTT also hosts business development workshops and networking events for their 1000-plus members and the City government further supports entrepreneurs with business assistance services and a series of free upskilling classes,’ said Alderman Vos.
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism spoke about this year’s Tourism Month theme, ‘Rethinking Tourism’.
‘This Tourism Month, we are aiming to inspire discussions about rethinking tourism for development, including education and job creation, as well as how it impacts the environment and opportunities to grow sustainably through this future-focused theme. Cape Town Tourism and The City of Cape Town are working hard to revitalise the tourism sector in time for the festive period and to show that Cape Town is a city with so much to offer. As the pandemic has taught us, the locals sustain businesses, so rethinking tourism should take into account the domestic market as well. International tourists love Cape Town, but it’s the locals who keep the city thriving,’ said Duminy.
‘To thank the locals for their continued support, the City and Cape Town Tourism are giving locals the Freedom to Wish for the experience of their dreams. We are inviting everyone who lives in Cape Town to nominate themselves or a loved one to tell us the one thing you would love to experience in this city. Whether it’s a stay at a 5-star hotel, a cooking class or paragliding over the mountains – we want to help make as many wishes as possible come true,’ said Alderman Vos.
‘This is a special give-back initiative which we are launching as an industry. Cape Town has world-class attractions which every Capetonian should experience at least once in their life. We are hoping to grant as many wishes as possible this month,’ said Duminy.
The initiative ties into Find Your Freedom, CTT’s interactive concept wherein users choose an avatar for a virtual taste of Cape Town. You begin by choosing your character – a Fearless Foodie, Nature Warrior or Urban Adventurer – and thereafter decide which part of Cape Town you’d like to experience through a series of first-person perspective videos. As a foodie, for example, you can pop into the award-winning La Colombe restaurant or join a local cooking class.
The expected rise in tourists is also being seen by local operators with Cape Town Ziplines’ Managing Director, Clinton Lerm, stating that business is back on track to pre-pandemic levels.
‘We are extremely excited about the uptick in visitor figures. This is evident in our forward bookings for October, November and December which are already seeing significant growth. In particular, we are seeing an influx of travellers from the US thanks to the work the City and its partners have done in terms of bringing additional flights to Cape Town. As such, we’re looking at doubling our team of staff over the holiday season and thereafter,’ said Lerm.
Over and above the “Freedom to Wish” campaign, the month will also include:
- An engagement with the Khayelitsha Tourism Forum around small business development
- The Halal Hopper – a walking and foodie tour focusing on Cape Town’s Muslim culture
- Showing Cape Town’s remote work travel potential as part of a new partnership with Airbnb
- The Find Your Freedom race around the city with 60 schoolchildren
- A Durbanville wine valley tour
- A meeting with hospitality SMMEs based in Helderburg to highlight CTT’s membership benefits
‘This variety of events speaks to the ‘Rethinking Tourism’ theme for this year’s Tourism Month. We are aiming to attract travellers from across the country, continent and globe. At the same time, we are empowering small businesses in the sector with access to information, networking opportunities, and exposure,’ said Alderman Vos.
The ‘rethinking tourism’ theme was also in line with the City’s strategy to boost the sector. Under the umbrella of the strategy, the City is:
- Attracting more flights, via the Air Access initiative, to Cape Town International Airport. In the coming weeks, Delta and United Airlines, both from the US, the UK’s Virgin Atlantic, France’s Condor and Air France, Air Belgium, Air Mauritius, and the Swiss Edelweiss are scheduled to start their routes while Lufthansa and KLM are set to increase flights for the summer season.
- Focusing on attracting the Muslim travel market. The Halal travel sector’s contribution to the global economy is massive and there is room for further growth, particularly for South Africa which is already one of the top five destinations for international Muslim travellers. Cape Town was also recently named the Most Promising Muslim-friendly City Destination of The Year (Non- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) in the HalalTrip Travelers Choice Awards category at the inaugural Halal In Travel Awards from @Crescentrating, the world’s leading authority on Halal travel.
- Pushing National Government to roll out the Remote Work Visa to allow international working tourists to stay and spend in South Africa for longer. CTT’s partnership with Airbnb shows that the Mother City is an ideal destination for digital nomads. The City has learnt that each working tourist tends to spend up to R50 000 during their stay. This revenue reaches multiple industries, including educational institutions, transport, accommodation, retail, and restaurants.
- Highlighting the many pocket-friendly experiences in Cape Town.
‘You can get out-and-about and explore our incredible city on a free walking tour in Cape Town’s central business district, enjoy a picnic in Green Point Urban Park, indulge in Cape Town’s best milkshake and hotdog at Wembley Roadhouse in Athlone, get your art fix at Langa’s Cultural Precinct or sip on some craft beers and gin in Hout Bay. CTT has compiled a handy 50 things to do for under R50 list with some more tips and ideas.
Cape Town is a triple-A-rated destination. While this is a term usually used for credit ratings, in this instance I mean three things: accommodation, attractions and aviation. The City government’s commitment to maintaining that rating is made clear by the fact that we direct funding towards CTT and its industry development initiatives; Wesgro which administers Air Access, the Convention Bureau and Cruise Cape Town.
‘People and places have always been at the core of our tourism destination offering. Rethinking tourism for us means constantly evaluating how this sector benefits the communities of Cape Town. South Africa’s tourism sector is forecast to create over 800 000 jobs over the next 10 years. Through hard work, collaboration and innovation, we can realise these opportunities,’ said Alderman Vos.
To be part of ‘Freedom to Wish’, which opens on 12 September and runs until 27 September, simply Whatsapp CTT on 072 662 0626 or send your 60-second video or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the name of the person whose wish you’d like us to grant and their desired Cape Town experience. For further details on ‘Freedom to Wish’, follow CTT on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.