May update from the CEO

The results of the second Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s FNB Tourism Business Index (TBI) have shown a decrease in the level of tourism business activity for the first quarter of 2011.

The index shows that accommodation businesses, ranging from large hotel and lodge groups to smaller independent hotels and guesthouses, have had an especially rough quarter and are operating significantly below expected performance levels. The performance levels of other tourism sectors, including activities and attractions, tour, retail and Forex operators, have also been on the decline.
Interestingly, however, the index shows that timeshare and large self-catering group operators have been operating at higher than normal levels.

These findings were mirrored in Cape Town Tourism’s summer season report, which, in line with the TBI, also goes on to reflect that tourism industry businesses were relatively optimistic about the remainder of 2011.

Cape Town Tourism has already identified four key areas in which we are working to increase sustainable and diverse tourism in Cape Town. We aim to place emphasis on exploring emerging markets, fostering a consultative process to create a brand that will define Cape Town, building Cape Town as a year-round, event-filled leisure and business destination, as well as making use of online and social media.

It is vitally important that we evolve with the times. All destinations are now in a globally competitive market. We believe that Cape Town as a city brand has a very strong chance of maintaining and growing an international reputation that is meaningful on a heart level as well as a head level.

Cape Town Tourism has hailed the content of Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk’s tourism budget speech, which was released at a media briefing on April 20 this year. He reported on three key areas of responsibility that the South African tourism industry should pursue over the next financial year – new growth, shared growth and green growth. Read more.

In terms of the critical topics of growth and development, the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’s announcement of a R 4.5-billion urban regeneration project and expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only will this unlock construction and development opportunities in the precinct, it will also have a multiplier effect on the economy, bringing much-needed regeneration to an area of our city that has been dormant for many years.

The project will commence soon and is expected to be completed at the end of 2014. Together with our partners at the CTICC, the city and province, we will keep you up to date with the development process.

With inspiring regeneration on the horizon, we also look forward to keeping an eye on the progress of Cape Town’s bid to become the 2014 World Design Capital.

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