Cape Town is the best host city in Africa according the World Travel Awards; it was announced that the city has been named “Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination” for 2018.
The announcement was made at a red-carpet event hosted at the Durban International Convention Centre, where the world’s industry professionals gathered to celebrate their victories.
In addition to winning this award, Cape Town was also nominated in two other categories:
World’s Leading City Break Destination 2018: Cape Town, South Africa
World’s Leading City Destination 2018: Cape Town, South Africa
Earlier in the year, Cape Town was once again crowned as the number one city in Africa for business tourism events by the International Congress and Convention Association; this latest accolade further cements the city’s reputation regionally, across the continent and globally.
Creating a sustainable tourism blueprint
Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy was particularly thrilled to hear the news:
“It’s notable that this accolade, along with others received, has come at a time when we’ve faced challenges as a city and within the tourism sector. Despite these challenges, there’s international recognition that we’re not only open for business, but that we’re capable of staging world-class events and festivals that cater for a global audience. Well done to each role player whose efforts have paid off in developing a sustainable platform for tourism growth,” he stated.
A mammoth industry-wide initiative has seen big events tackling their impact on water resources and reducing consumption accordingly, in some cases, such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, for example, water was brought in from sources outside Cape Town with this in mind, resulting in a low-impact event enjoyed by participants.
Smaller, community-based events and festivals also aid in contributing to sustainability for local businesses and in creating an engaging environment that stimulates local commerce. These aid in promoting local tourism and encouraging travel in and around Cape Town.
The big business of festivals and events:
Festivals and events are considered to be a driving force in the Cape’s economy by tourism sector professionals:
- The HSBC Rugby Sevens generated revenue of R539m in 2016 and around R700m in 2017, with 110 000 tickets selling out in seconds in 2017.
- The Sanlam Cape Town marathon was crowned the Participation Event of the year (2018), showcasing the sporting industry talent of the Cape.
- The Cape Town leg of the Volvo Ocean Race was expected to contribute about R500m and 35 000 bed nights to the city’s economy in 2017, however, the start city of the race, Alicante, Spain, estimates the economic value of each leg to be R960m.
- The Cape Town International Jazz Festival creates more than 2 000 temporary jobs. The festival annually boasts 5 stages with more than 40 artists performing over 2 nights. The festival hosts in excess of 37, 000 music lovers over the 2 show days.
- Events like the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon are critical to the region’s economy, with the OMTOM alone generating over R675 million, creating thousands of jobs and raising more than R3.5 million for the charities that use the OMTOM as a fundraising platform every year. (2018 quote from race organisers).
- Over R500-million flows into the Western Cape economy during the week of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which attracts about 4,000 international riders to the city.
- During the Meetings Africa conference 2018, it was pointed out that business tourism contributed an astonishing R115bn to the South African economy. These business visitors generally spend more than the usual leisure traveller. This money is most commonly spent at hotels, conference centres, restaurants, country clubs, and convention centres.
- According to the South African National Convention Bureau, South Africa hosts about one million delegates at business events every year, supporting over 250,000 jobs directly and indirectly in this sub-sector alone.
- Cape Town has once again claimed the number-one spot as a globally competitive business destination. The recent expansion of the CTICC (II) to the tune of R900 million has played an integral role in securing this prestigious recognition.
- In 2017, 3,400 international delegates experienced Cape Town, helping grow the economy and creating jobs in the areas of tourism, conferencing and hospitality.