Cape Town Tourism’s 5th Annual General Meeting took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. A bright and cheerful team of soccer-kitted Cape Town Tourism team members welcomed guests, tourism businesses, and stakeholders to the well-attended, soccer-themed event.
Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold shared the organization’s vision of positioning Cape Town as Africa’s leading city and one of the top ten world cities to visit, live, work, study, and invest. The vision is underlined by the bold target of doubling the value of tourism in Cape Town by 2020.
Mariette commented: “The tourism industry is well positioned to lead change and turn challenges into opportunities. It is not bail-outs that are needed. We need government to take tourism seriously as a driver of economic development.” She stressed that: “Cape Town will not sell itself for much longer; the competition is just too tough. We must innovate, create and seduce our customers and invest in marketing, but not marketing in the traditional sense of the word.”
In the short term – over the next nine months – Cape Town Tourism’s attention will be focused on the practicalities of hosting a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup, inspiring citizens to be great hosts to the world. This is one of four strategic priorities for the organization; the others being the realization of a long-term tourism marketing legacy from the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the stimulation of a 365-day yield on tourism (by generating more event and business tourism) and Cape Town at Large, which promotes tourism across the greater Cape Town area and beyond.
Defining Cape Town Tourism’s role as one of leadership, Du Toit-Helmbold identified several opportunities guiding Cape Town Tourism’s activities. Amongst these was the need for improved industry performance – in which Cape Town Tourism would play a support role, inspiring Cape Town’s citizens to “Live and Love Cape Town!” and developing joint marketing campaigns with private sector partners to enable marketing funds to stretch further.
Highlights of the past financial year included the development of a new customer-focused website (www.capetown.travel) as part of the first comprehensive eMarketing Strategy for Cape Town, making full use of the latest technology and Web 2.0 tools. The new web platform includes a dedicated 2010 World Cup Mini-site packed with information on the World Cup for visitors, businesses, and local citizens. Within less than a month of launching a Facebook fan page for Cape Town, more than 45,000 fans signed up from all over the world. The latest addition is a new industry website for the tourism sector and members of Cape Town Tourism, giving businesses access to the latest business advice and opportunities.
PR and media management has also been a focus area with dedicated media and reputation management established in Cape Town’s key source markets like the UK, Germany, and the USA. Another highlight has been the development of a FIFA and Host City-approved Cape Town Soccer Brand with a logo that can be used freely by the public, businesses, and the tourism industry to proclaim their support for Cape Town as host city without breaking any of 2010 FIFA World Cup branding rights. Cape Town’s Visitor Centre network is being expanded and upgraded with new visitor centers opening at the CTICC, Cape Town Station, and Cape Town International Airport. A new state of the art visitor center proto-type has been designed and will be show-cased when the Cape Town Central Visitor Centre in Burg Street re-opens to the public early November this year.
Cape Town Tourism is promoting Cape Town as the creative and lifestyle center of Africa and is committed to translating that brand ideal into an everyday reality. “We believe that the tourism industry can be a real driver of social and economic transformation,” said Du Toit-Helmbold. “Cities are now the new brand leaders, and Cape Town has the potential to join the ranks of top city brands around the world. We believe that Cape Town must unite under a powerful vision and brand that can guide us into the future, and Cape Town Tourism is committed to leading the way to a new era for tourism in Cape Town.”
Keynote speaker Pere Duran, director general of Barcelona Tourism, outlined Barcelona’s transformation into a leading European destination after the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, illustrating the powerful role major events can play in a city’s economic growth, sustainability, and brand building. FNB provincial chairperson Stephan Claassen outlined the bank’s commitment to the tourism industry ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. FNB is one of Cape Town Tourism’s commercial business partners. Guy Lundy, chief executive officer, Accelerate Cape Town; Rashid Toefy, chief executive officer, Cape Town International Convention Centre; and Ian Bartes, manager of service standards and quality assurance, Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town, were elected by the members of Cape Town Tourism at the AGM, to serve on the Board of Cape Town Tourism for the next three years. The Board of Cape Town Tourism comprises 13 members primarily from the private sector with representatives from the city of Cape Town and Cape Town Routes Unlimited.
In the interest of environmental sustainability, Cape Town Tourism’s 2009 Annual Report will not be printed unless requested. The report can be viewed online at www.capetown.travel/industry. Should you wish to receive a printed copy, please contact Nicole Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org.