By Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth at the City of Cape Town 

I like to think of Cape Town as a triple A-rated city. I know this is a term usually used for credit ratings or prime real estate, but for me it means three things when it comes to Cape Town: accommodation, attractions, and aviation. In all three of these categories we have recorded exceptional performances in arrivals and bookings.

In some instances such as aviation, recovery is above 80% when compared to the current period in 2019.

At Cape Town International Airport we have seen some international airlines increase between 20% to 70% in arrivals this past week. This is between Europe, Middle Eastern and African carriers. I am happy to share the wonderful news that the Airport is processing up to 23,000 passengers per day of which 4,800 are international. These exceptional performances come as a result of clever campaigns and strategies by this City government and its partners like Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro’s Air Access Team producing world class marketing and global connections, that makes Cape Town a premier destination for business and leisure travel.

It’s wonderful to see the return of events such as the World Cup Rugby Sevens to the city. Events are a great boon to the economy as they induce local expenditures and jobs within multiple industries. In my meetings with hotels and other hospitality service providers, they have expressed that occupancy rates are rising steeply and, even better, hiring more staff.

I have the wonderful privilege to serve on the City’s Special Events Committee, where consideration is given for events’ sponsorships and applications and I’m excited to share that we have an awesome line-up coming to Cape Town.

Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre between September and December are a number of conferences focused around the medical, engineering, education, and investment and financial services’ fields. In addition, Africa Oil Week, Windaba, AfricaCom, the Spar Trade Show, the Vinimark Trade Show, the Loeries and the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Trade Show are all coming to Cape Town.

Besides the Sevens, we are also expecting other sporting events such as the Masters Hockey World Cup and next year, we’re excited to be hosting the Netball World Cup.

We can also look forward to a total of 104 cruise ship visits carrying more than 195 000 visitors over the upcoming cruise season starting next month. With almost R100 million in total estimated passenger spend per port visit, we can expect a very busy holiday season.

I motivated in the budget of the City government that we fund several initiatives and platforms geared to attract business travel and tourism opportunities. These include the Conventions Bureau, Air Access Programme, Cruise Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism. I did this because our work in the sector results in massive economic spinoffs for businesses and operators to benefit from increased bookings, more spending, job creation, and sustained investments. Through these programmes, we showcase the Mother City’s unique offering and appeal to travellers.

People and places have always been at the core of our tourism destination offering. For the City, rethinking tourism means constantly evaluating how this sector boosts 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.

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