From the CEO: Cape Town Tourism looking back and moving forward

It has been six months since Cape Town Tourism’s AGM in October 2011, where we launched our new marketing campaign.

The marketing campaign was launched to address the issue of declining demand for Cape Town as a destination. In terms of the global picture, our international source markets of the UK, USA, Germany and The Netherlands were in the aftermath of a recession and all indications were that arrivals from these markets would not increase unless we embarked on a targeted campaign to increase demand.

Cape Town Tourism’s marketing strategy launched at the AGM focuses on two central themes:

  • Resuscitating the domestic market by aggressively positioning Cape Town as a fascinating short city break option, particularly in the off-season.
  • Inducing international visits by getting the broadest possible market to reconsider the city as a visitor destination, whilst complementing and reinforcing a broader economic and business position, beyond leisure tourism and scenic beauty only.

The campaign was developed after a year of industry engagement about a more compelling brand proposition for Cape Town that would help address the decline in tourism, improve the demand for Cape Town and challenge the perception that Cape Town is just a beautiful holiday destination. The thread of “inspiration” informed our marketing campaign of "You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town".

Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk presented the 2011 tourist arrival figures for South Africa in Cape Town on Thursday April 12, 2012. More than eight million tourists visited South Africa in 2011; the 8 339 354 arrivals translated into 3.3% growth on 2010, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ arrivals.

The growth in tourism arrivals was attributed to a 14.6% growth in emerging markets from Asia, and while traditional key source markets showed low and even negative growth figures due to the economic climate, they however remained top source markets in terms of total numbers. Our campaign is as relevant and critical now as it was six months ago.

Cape Town Tourism hosted a marketing campaign update at the Fugard Theatre on Thursday April 12, 2012 for our members and stakeholders, where we shared the progress that we have made in the past six months and the programmes that we have planned for the next six months.

To execute fully, the campaign required additional investment from other sectors beyond tourism. Although in principle there was agreement to collaborate and support for the campaign, additional budget was not achieved to enable Cape Town Tourism to spearhead the “Livable City” campaign in its entirety within this financial year.

In typical Cape Town Tourism style, we did not allow a lack of budget to stop us. We have had to work smarter with less, reprioritise and build stronger partnerships with the private sector.

There has definitely been positive progress in the last six months. The team has worked hard to roll out the new marketing campaign across multiple platforms, despite budget constraints, in order to deliver on our objectives of generating greater demand for the destination and countering seasonality.

We are looking forward to the next six months, which promise to be very busy with Indaba 2012 around the corner; further programmes as part of the Three Cities Alliance; our winter campaign; our National Geographic campaign that reaches 435-million homes in 173 countries and 37 languages through TV, and through its website that boasted 20.3-million unique visits in February 2012 alone; and a very exciting digital campaign launching later this year.

I am extremely proud of the work that the team has done in the past six months and want to extend a special word of thanks to my executive team – Enver Duminy Executive Manager Tourism Services and Acting CEO; Nzima Soci Executive Manager Financial and Corporate Services; Velma Corcoran Executive Manager Marketing Services; and Skye Grove Communications Manager – for being the driving force behind our vision while I was on maternity leave. I look forward to returning to the office on Wednesday May 2, 2012 and working together with each of you to establish Cape Town as one of the world’s greatest cities to visit, live, work, study and invest in.

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold
CEO: Cape Town Tourism

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