Tourism Industry Think Tank Discusses The Way Forward

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One of the biggest successes of the World Cup was the way Cape Town welcomed the world – and this is one of the most important legacies to build upon going forward.This was the view put forward by Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold at a tourism think tank recently.

“The real work around doubling the economic impact of tourism in Cape Town by 2020 begins now,” said du Toit-Helmbold, “and consultative, co-operative partnerships between Cape Town’s tourism players is essential for establishing a strong brand and positioning statement for Cape Town”

Du Toit-Helmbold told an audience of 200 people that everything her organisation did around the World Cup was designed “to leverage the event for the years ahead. Cape Town Tourism’s focus had never been on the short term.”

She was speaking at a crucial tourism industry think tank, at Cape Town Tourism’s Joint Association Members Meeting Session (JAMMS) at Century City last Wednesday. JAMMS brings industry leaders and key tourism stakeholders in the city together to chart the way forward for tourism.

The recent JAMMS was attended by members of Cape Town Tourism, FEDHASA Cape, SAACI Western Cape & SATSA Western Cape.

The CEO said tourism found itself “in a bit of a vacuum” after the World Cup and it was important, as a destination, to decide on a positioning statement with which to market Cape Town, with one voice, to the world.

“We are going to be putting together a workshop, and a strategy, around a post World Cup brand for Cape Town. Cape Town Tourism will drive this initiative very strongly over the next two months and involve the industry in the process,” she said.

Post-recession economics linger but airline capacity was also identified as a critical factor limiting access to the destination. It was also clear that visitors were not discovering the region’s communities, staying instead in “well established tourist nodes”. It was very important to navigate people, and give them a 360 degree view of the destination, said Du Toit-Helmbold.

The accommodation sector in Cape Town had seen a 45 percent increase in capacity over the past five years making the balance of supply and demand a critical factor.

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