Two weeks after one of the most successful World Travel Market trade shows in London, Cape Town and the Western Cape are collaboratively gearing up for the city and region's peak tourism season. Cape Town and the Western Cape's tourism marketing organisations, Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro, joined forces at World Travel Market and presented Cape Town and surrounding regions as interchangeable parts of a whole experience.
Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold, Cape Town Tourism CEO, represented the two organisations in London and reported that this year's World Travel Market was a very successful and focused event marked by a sense of willingness to collaborate across various platforms. "From airline partners to industry champions and media, we saw that people want to get together and share their time, expertise and assets. There was a lot of interest in Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa as a tourism destination."
Some of the highlights from World Travel Market included:
- The release of Euromonitor's latest Global Trends Report.
- Huge interest and emphasis on the role of digital marketing and social media in travel and tourism marketing. South African Tourism and the official tourism organisations for Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town joining forces to host selected top travel bloggers from new and traditional source markets as a #LoveSouthAfrica campaign in 2013, an extension of Cape Town Tourism's highly successful #LoveCapeTown campaign.
- The interest in Cape Town as a business destination is growing. South Africa was recently announced as the winner of the National Outsourcing Association's Offshoring Destination of the Year Award. Cape Town is South Africa's leading city for business process outsourcing (BPO) and has numerous call centres for new international companies. The BPO industry employs 33 500 people and is worth R7.9 billion. Cape Town Tourism will work closely with the City of Cape Town to ensure a balanced tourism destination marketing messaging reflecting Cape Town's tourism and business offering.
- A strong message from international tourism ministers that complicated visa processes and policies that limit air connectivity continue to present major barriers to the growth of travel and tourism. Ministers and representatives of major tour operators and airlines further called for increased intra-governmental cooperation and support from the highest levels of government to break such barriers.
Concludes Du Toit-Helmbold: "Cape Town and the Western Cape remains an extremely desirable destination for our key source markets and increasingly for new source markets. International visitors spend around R22 billion per annum in the Western Cape and the tourism industry is one of the top three employers in the region. Through collaboration Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro will amplify our marketing activities to present a unified message of tourism and tourism development for the region."