December update from the CEO

Cape Town Tourism was greatly saddened and dismayed upon hearing of the murder of British tourist Anni Dewani in Gugulethu.

Safety and security concerns remain the biggest stumbling block to tourism growth in South Africa, which is why we at Cape Town Tourism, in conjunction with provincial and city partners and key stakeholders in the safety and tourism sector, continue to work on potential solutions. We’re calling on those within the tourism industry to work toward a safer city with us. Start by reading more about our visitor safety and support initiatives, as well as those organised by the City of Cape Town for the festive season.

On that note, thank you to those who participated in the Cape Town Tourism visitor safety forum held on November 18, 2010. Proactive plans for the festive season were discussed, and visitor safety in the city was emphasised as a top priority.

The World Travel Market in London in November was a resounding success: Cape Town certainly is hot property but we need to continue proactively marketing the destination, mindful of the competitive market and how travellers are spoiled for choice. The World Travel Market (WTM) Global Trends Report 2010 highlighted fears that the international travel market will not fully recover until 2016, although financial experts in the UK are predicting a speedier upturn in European travel. What is apparent, despite conflicting predictions, is Africa’s resilience. South Africa, in particular, has emerged as the strongest African destination, following on the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. According to the report, arrival figures to South Africa are three times greater than those to any other African country.

According to the report, South Africa is poised to become a leader in space and astronomy tourism, and holidaymakers are using social media more than ever before when planning their holidays. More than one third of 1 000 UK consumers surveyed say that they use social media platforms when preparing for trips. Read more about the report findings here.

It remains for me to wish you a happy and successful festive season. I look forward to working with you again during 2011, strengthening our city brand and developing a future-fit and sustainable tourism sector.