Indaba 2014: Cape Town sustaining the new tourism

Cape Town Tourism has returned from a successful Indaba 2014, which saw the Western Cape’s Gold Award-winning stand showcasing various facets from across the region, in partnership with Wesgro.

Indaba 2014: Cape Town sustaining the new tourism

Cape Town Tourism has returned from a successful Indaba 2014, which saw the Western Cape’s Gold Award-winning stand showcasing various facets from across the region, in partnership with Wesgro.

Enver Duminy, Cape Town Tourism CEO, was among the panelists at the Tourism Cities at Indaba Conference – attended by tourism businesses, authorities and academics. Consistent with South African Tourism’s theme for Indaba 2014, “Twenty Years of Freedom,” the event examined the explosive growth in tourism over the past two decades.

Says, Enver Duminy; “Demand in tourism has increased exponentially. For much of the first decade of the last twenty years we were just responding to the market but tourism has since gone from reactive to proactive. In particular, the FIFA World Cup in 2010 had shaped tourism to Cape Town and South Africa, both in terms of perception and by harnessing the potential of industry collaboration and cross sector partnerships.”

At the opening address for Indaba 2014 Minister for Tourism, Martinus van Schalkwyk said that “in 1994 international arrivals to South Africa stood at just 3.6-million.” Twenty years on, arrivals have grown by more than 300% to reach nearly 15-million last year, 9.6-million of which were tourist arrivals. Minister Van Schalkwyk added that “in 1994 South Africa’s tourism budget was just R81-million, accounting for just 1.7% of GDP (R9-billion). There were just 230 000 direct jobs in the tourism sector. Today, the national government invests in excess of R1.6-billion in tourism every year and has a fully-fledged tourism ministry with the industry now accounting for R93-billion, or 3% of GDP, and 610 000 direct jobs in the sector.”

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Looking at travel trends will shape the next twenty years in tourism and Duminy noted that social and mobile continue to shape tourism’s future. The popular Indaba Tech Zone showcased plenty of exciting innovation and ideas that signaled the importance of innovation.

Says Velma Corcoran, Executive for Marketing at Cape Town Tourism; “One of the biggest trends to watch in travel is mobile – and the potential for mobile in Africa is staggering as mobile has enabled Africa to leapfrog many other technologies. Harnessing mobility is a way of thinking which extends beyond a mobisite or travel app. It means placing visitors at the center and can also be an approach to a physical space; like Cape Town Tourism’s new mobile Visitor Info Centre.”

A study by Grant Thornton and the City of Cape Town (2013) revealed that the economic value of tourism in Cape Town for 2012/13 was around R11.9 billion and that, at the time, there were around 34 600 permanent employees and 15 000 temporary employees employed in Cape Town’s tourism industry.

Cape Town is committed to ensuring that the next twenty years will also mark an even greater shift towards economic equity for tourism.

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