Talking Tourism: Cape Town announced as World Design Capital 2014

It was announced today that Cape Town is the official World Design Capital for 2014, winning the accolade from competing shortlisted candidates Bilbao, Spain, and Dublin, Ireland.

The bidding process for this prestigious title began in 2010 and was undertaken by the Cape Town Partnership as mandated by the City of Cape Town – congratulations to both teams on a bid and theme of “Live Design. Transform Life” that made us incredibly proud.

The win comes at an optimal time for Cape Town as the destination gears itself for more sustained economic growth and a more significant share of the world’s urban travellers. Cape Town Tourism recently unveiled our new marketing strategy and global marketing campaign underpinned by the brand positioning of INSPIRATION and aligned with a broader economic vision for Cape Town. The marketing campaign is positioned to embrace citizens, tourism, the creative sector, business and academia and grow the demand for Cape Town as a place to visit, invest, learn, live and work.

The strategy and campaign perfectly align with the intentions behind Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 bid. Forming part of a comprehensive marketing strategy for Cape Town aimed at growing the demand for the destination by speaking to a wider audience in new and established international and domestic markets, the strategy and campaign align with sectors beyond tourism and are to be launched globally at the World Travel Market in November.

Cape Town’s bid for the title of World Design Capital 2014 has showcased the important role design and the creative sector at large play in transforming a city, making it not just a great place to visit, but a greater place to live.

Former World Design Capital Seoul, Korea, successfully used the title to position itself as a “soft city” (based on its ecology, landscape and sense of history and culture) centred on diversity of culture and design. It drew on the projects that it piloted as World Design Capital and its creative industries to enhance the city’s brand value and add to its culture and economy.

The media attention that comes with the title is enormous. Torino, Italy, boasted 3,250 WDC-related articles in the local and international media from 2007 to 2008 and the title-holder for 2012, Helsinki, Finland, received and hosted 500 media groups in the first 10 months of 2011, with the media interest in the World Design Capital increasing and reaching unprecedented levels in the current year.

The benefits for tourism are obvious and Cape Town Tourism looks forward to use the title of World Design Capital to grow demand for Cape Town. It seems fitting that I leave you with a healthy dose of inspiration after this excellent news: click here to view the video online that 3,000 designers from 40 different countries saw when Cape Town was announced as World Design Capital 2014.

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