De Lille: Cape Town tourism sector must not rest on laurels | Fin24
 
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De Lille: Cape Town tourism sector must not rest on laurels

Nov 02 2015 06:00

Cape Town - Cape Town's tourism industry should not rest on its laurels but keep up the good work and act on strategies aimed at strengthening year-round tourism, Executive Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille said at Cape Town Tourism's annual general meeting.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy declared that Cape Town is truly becoming a 365 destination at the organisation’s AGM on Thursday, which focused on the holistic approach to tourism in the city taken over the past year.

“Cape Town Tourism is closely monitoring visitor trends, and is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, especially since domestic tourism remains the focus during December and January. Placing the emphasis on campaigns such as ‘Hello Weekend’, the ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ video series which showcases select city suburbs and a drive to encourage visitors to ‘travel like a local’ will add impetus to tourism-related businesses”, Duminy said.

Duminy indicated that the latest statistics indicate positive growth year-on-year in air travel to Cape Town and that Cape Town Tourism’s strategies in combatting seasonality had paid off.

Specifically, Duminy highlighted a successful “Hello Weekend” campaign that resulted in 21% increase in domestic bookings and the impact that this had in combatting seasonality in tourism – the campaign specifically designed to attract visitors in off-peak season.

He reminded everyone that achievements were made despite the current tourism industry climate which has taken a significant knock from the birth certificate requirements, biometric visas and the tail-end of the Ebola crisis, and thanked David Frost of the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) for his commitment to the industry in light of Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom’s announcement that some of the visa and birth certificate regulations will be relaxed.

Key statistics and highlights he mentioned included that the total airport arrival figures are up 3.4% year-on-year - domestic arrivals by 2.9%, regional arrivals by 6.4% and international arrivals by 6.1%. Of the big attractions, Kirstenbosch Garden showed a favourable 29% increase in visitors.

The increased capacity at Cape Town International has had a positive effect on regional and international arrivals and presents an opportunity going forward.

Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member, Tourism, Events and Economic Development added that a long-term strategy aimed at counteracting seasonality is already in place and that this is encouraging tourists to stay longer, spend more and visit more places. He mentioned the specific targeting of niche tourist markets as one means of growing tourism in the city.

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