World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 each year as a day earmarked by the United Nations to celebrate tourism and its social, economic, and environmental benefits. This year’s theme is “linking cultures” – a theme which truly reflects Cape Town’s rich heritage and cultural diversity.
Said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai: “The message on this World Tourism Day is that, thanks to tourism, millions of people from different cultures are being brought together around the world like never before. This interaction between people of different backgrounds and ways of life represents an enormous opportunity to advance tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding.”
Cllr. Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events & Marketing added: “Cultural heritage is our roots as a city; it is the spirit of our people; something that, once we understand and protect, forms an integral part of our identity as Capetonians. We need to acknowledge tourism development as a key part of economic prosperity, and carefully balance heritage conservation with the need for urban growth.”
Cape Town is on the eve of two important announcements. In October, it will know whether it has been chosen as the World Design Capital for 2014 (currently Cape Town is one of three finalists) and on November 11, 2011, it will be known whether Cape Town’s Table Mountain is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. These accolades appropriately represent Cape Town’s greatest assets – its natural beauty and its people and culture, both of which will be celebrated in a month-long campaign focused on Cape Town’s accessibility for local citizens.
The My Cape Town campaign, now in its second year, is coordinated by Cape Town Tourism in partnership with major attractions like Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Point Route, City Sightseeing, and other city attractions and encourages locals to experience their city as tourists would.
The My Cape Town campaign, which will run throughout the month of September, honors all that Cape Town has to offer with freebie giveaways and a host of excellent specials and discounts on the city’s attractions and activities. The campaign also embraces coinciding events of partners such as Creative Week Cape Town and Iziko Heritage Week and offers its own celebratory concerts on September 25-27 to coincide with World Tourism Day celebrations.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, commented: “Cape Town’s long history has seen the mixing of peoples and cultures from its earliest days. As the ‘gateway to Africa,’ contemporary Cape Town is one of the most diverse and tolerant societies in the world – one of the cities in the world that present possibility, inspiration, freedom, and a vision for the future rooted in an imperfect, but interesting past. We are blessed to have a history that proffers such a diverse range of indigenous peoples, but we also see many visitors from neighboring African countries, and the rest of the globe, throughout the year, which allows us to share knowledge and traditions. Cape Town is a city of inspiration for those who live in and visit it.
“This World Tourism Day we acknowledge the interaction between culture and tourism in achieving this appealing essence, and with a month-long celebration of everything Cape Town offers as a city to locals, we aim to give the people who live in this city an opportunity to truly know and live their city.”
Be a tourist in Cape Town this September!
• Visit any one of Cape Town Tourism’s Visitor Information Centers across Cape Town for more information about Cape Town activities and My Cape Town events.
• Visit www.capetown.travel/mycapetown from September 1 for more information on My Cape Town specials and events.
• Look out for competitions in Next 48 Hours, People’s Post, Tygerburger, City Vision, and Blitz, as well as on Bush Radio, Radio Zibonele, CCFM, Voice of the Cape, Radio Helderberg, and Radio Tygerberg, where you could stand a chance to win free or discounted tickets to Cape Town’s top attractions.
Cape Town attractions taking part in the second annual My Cape Town campaign include: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, City Sightseeing Cape Town, Cape Point and the V&A Waterfront, as well as the City of Cape Town Tourism Department, My CiTi Bus Service, Metrorail, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, SANParks, Robben Island, Spur, and the Two Oceans Aquarium.