Cape Town Tourism on the Global Stage this Month

This month, a delegation from Cape Town Tourism and the City of Cape Town (CoCT) attended two leading industry events in London, reaffirming Cape Town’s role on the global tourism stage.

Making the most of the opportunities afforded at these two leading industry events, namely World Travel Market London and the City Nation Place, this delegation also met with various partners to further rebuild and accelerate the recovery of the South African tourism sector. These included engaging with tourism company Kuoni, US-based travel site Expedia, as well as leading airlines Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa.

The most prominent names within the travel sector are welcomed to connect and network at the annual global travel and tourism event, World Travel Market London, to unpack ways that grow and develop their business. 

Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism and the Mayoral Committee member for Economic Growth at the City, Alderman James Vos, also hosted UK travel industry leaders, investors, and members of the British media. They were entertained at the South Africa House in London, where they were given a sample of what Cape Town has to offer.

Duminy says that Cape Town Tourism has embarked on a path to respond to changing global behaviour while predicting future travel needs. They were also hosted on a panel of global leaders at City Nation Place, a forum for cities, nations, and destinations to collaborate and share best practices on destination branding and marketing strategies.

He was joined by panellist Irina Tolstousov, Moldova Country Brand Administrator, Invest Moldova Agency, Heike Döll-König, who heads up Tourismus NRW in Germany and Geerte Udo, the CEO of I Amsterdam.

“This panel saw a representation from a country brand, two contrasting cities, and a regional destination marketing organisation which made for a great conversation,” Duminy commented.

Destination marketing needs to be both responsive and immersive, something that Cape Town Tourism has embraced, most recently with its Find Your Freedom campaign. This is an interactive interface created using game-style graphics to empower global travellers to choose what they want to do when visiting the Mother City. Be it to experience adventure, explore nature, or savour Cape Town’s foodie scene.

A highlight for Cape Town Tourism at the City Nation Place Awards was winning a Highly Commended Award in the Best Communication Strategy: Tourism for Find Your Freedom.

This category saw very stiff competition, with Cape Town Tourism up against the likes of campaigns by Fiji Tourism, VisitOSLO, Discover Puerto Rico and others. With the winning entry going to ‘Welcome To The Icelandverse,’ entered by Business Iceland.

“Being up against such inspiring and forward-thinking campaigns from around the world and walking away with a Highly Commended accolade is an absolute honour. This shows that we have been able to walk the fine line of both inspiring visitors to Cape Town and contributing to the bottom line of our industry at the same time. A big congratulations and thank you to all of the destinations which are working so hard to get global travel, and our economies, back on track,” says Leigh Dawber, Chief Marketing Officer at Cape Town Tourism.

Both World Travel Market London and City Nation Place saw place brand, and marketing teams from around the world share common challenges. As well as ideas for the future, with the shared vision of generating sustainable tourism and economic development while building cohesive communities and encouraging global cooperation.

“Since the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions, we have been hard at work to restore confidence in Cape Town, which suffered greatly from the global travel bans,” says Duminy, who has also recently been reappointed as a Member of the Board of Directors at South African Tourism. 

“The past year has seen encouraging growth in both international and local travel and hospitality in Cape Town,” he says. Adding that his focus for Cape Town Tourism going forward includes a community-focused approach with recovery as the immediate goal. He also says unbalanced tourism needs to be avoided and that tourism going forward needs to be more sustainable to the benefit of both locals and tourists. “Smarter destination attraction management and avoiding a volume-only approach is imperative for the future of tourism”.

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