The City of Cape Town has launched its destination marketing campaign, which aims to bring the world back to the Mother City.
James Vos, Mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and assets management, comments: "With Cape Town and its landmarks receiving this recognition - especially after 20 months of the pandemic and national lockdown - it is a feather in the cap of City officials and our industry partners such as Cape Town Tourism (CTT), the City's official Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO), who all work hard to keep our city top of mind for a global and domestic audience."
"It is my distinct pleasure that the campaign is rooted in the City’s six pillar destination marketing communication plan that aims to capture the fullness of our offering as the Mother City and positions Cape Town as the premier destination to visit and explore, study, work, play and experience, invest, or quite simply live."
Expanding into, and growing new markets
With almost 40% of 2019’s international visitors to the Western Cape from the US, UK and Germany, says Vos, the City's plan is to target these global markets first, especially as many Northern Hemisphere residents look to escape their harsh winter weather, says Vos.
"From today, and over the coming months, people using bus stops, subway stations and other high-traffic locations around Munich, London and New York will see our billboards and digital screens with scenes showing the wide variety of experiences and beauty in Cape Town."
As part of the City's efforts to drive local travel and investment, Place Marketing will also be going out in airports in Johannesburg and Durban.
Vos adds that the City would like ramp up its marketing to places across Africa, as the City aims to secure more sister city agreements and partnerships in markets across Africa."
"Foreign Africans comprised 74,3% of international visitors to South Africa in 2019. Through the Air Access initiative, which receives funding from the City, we have built a successful air connectivity programme with cities around the continent and worldwide, and so it makes sense to further develop this for the benefit of travel and trade, and show that Cape Town is a proudly African city."
Vos pointed out that the campaign has been launched at a critical time with the United Kingdom – one of the biggest single sources of travellers to the Western Cape – recently announced that it had removed South Africa from its red list. "The UK government’s long-awaited announcement followed weeks of lobbying by the City and our industry partners. The decision saw an immediate surge in flight bookings and some estimates say as many as 300,000 UK travellers might head our way this summer.
There is similar optimism from the United continues Vos: "United Airlines announced that it will be resuming flights between New York and Johannesburg and will soon restart its Cape Town route. In 2019, the City had three flights per week from New York to Cape Town, which was made possible through its Air Access initiative."
Vos adds: "While international tourists spent R19bn in the province in 2019 (and with 97% of those travellers coming to Cape Town during their visit, we get a sense of how much of that was spent in the city), our goal with this campaign is to reach people around the world who are looking for a destination for a variety of reasons.
"For instance, I am still appealing to national government to launch a remote worker visa. Cape Town is ranked as one of the top global destinations for digital nomads and enabling the visa - with specific parameters such as not working for a local employer - would simply require provisions to the Immigration Act for a period longer than three months."
Expanding on its marketing campaign, the City's DMO CTT will roll out its 'Find Your Freedom' initiative, which will feature interactive videos. They will also partner with tour operators, agencies and airlines such as Germany’s Lufthansa with the objective of converting interested travellers into actual visitors. The City's priority, says Vos, is to drive that conversion and see more people make bookings, because it is those bookings that benefit our local businesses and industries.
Giving a boost to industry economy
"As the City’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and simply as a Capetonian, I understand how dependent communities and businesses are on the visitor economy. Tourism directly contributed 3% to South Africa’s GDP in 2018 and that does not even take into account the value to industries such as manufacturing or transport.
"Prior to Covid-19, around 150,000 people in Cape Town are employed in jobs related to tourism, making it the sector with the highest growth and employment potential in the city. But this is not just about one industry. We must also consider its ripple impact on other industries. When people come to Cape Town from the other side of the country, continent or world, they don’t just come to lie on our beaches or go up the mountain. They buy the products made by our businesses and visit the communities showing our history and cultures.
"It is through the experience of travel that a local delicacy becomes a global phenomenon; a design seen on the streets of Khayelitsha makes its way to the catwalks of London, and investors of green technology initiatives in Atlantis transfer their curiosity to signing on the dotted line. This translates into more sustained livelihoods and jobs for the people of our city.
"Travel reveals the opportunities and innovation that Cape Town has on offer. And that’s why our destination marketing strategy delivers our unique value proposition," concluded Vos.