January 21, 2009
Cape Town can shrug off effects of economic meltdown
Many tourists will visit Cape Town to watch the British Lions play at Newlands this year
Income divisions are becoming more apparent in holiday plans, according to research published (read the full article) in the ITB World Travel Trends Report and reported by Travel Daily News. There is growth in luxury travel at one end and an increase in bargain hunting and last-minute bookings at the other.
The global financial crisis has also made it more difficult to make predictions about this year.
These are interesting observations from ITB Berlin, the largest international tourism trade show. They echo some of the trends Cape Town Tourism is picking up from industry and visitor surveys – in particular, an increase in last-minute reservations, shorter stays and a more conservative spend per head.
Despite fears of a drop in international arrivals, we expect arrivals to remain steady throughout 2009. The weak rand, the increased awareness of South Africa due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the upcoming Lions Tour and consistent positive media coverage of Cape Town as a leading city destination are all contributing factors.
Cape Town remains an authentic, value-for-money destination and was recently selected as one of Fodor’s top 10 destinations to visit in 2009. This was based on the excellent value for money it offers. Similarly, British Airways has predicted Cape Town as its top long-haul destination for 2009, ahead of cities such as Dubai, San Francisco and New York. Lastminute.com also cited South Africa as a preferred value-for-money destination.
We agree; 2009 is a very difficult year to forecast. It will take hard work, focused marketing and a united effort from the industry to continue offering exceptional quality, value for money and authentic experiences for the industry to remain buoyant.