World Cup defining moments


Africa's first World Cup in 2010 inspired the nation, and the world. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

Message from the CEO

Cape Town Tourism was always confident that our city and our citizens would show the world what an outstanding destination and people we are, yet the overwhelming success of that welcome and the positive international coverage surpassed even our most optimistic expectations. The goodwill that was unlocked as a result of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ cannot be measured in monetary terms.

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Everything became possible

Africa’s first ever World Cup inspired the world, and as a country and a city we passed the test with flying colours. The tournament was a time South Africans will never forget. And it changed the world’s perception of our country, and city, forever.

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Strategic planning

It was to thunderous applause and tears of jubilation that FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced on May 15, 2004 that South Africa would host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. “It was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life, along with the release from prison of Nelson Mandela,” said Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the South African Local Organising Committee.

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Our marketing approach

Cape Town proved itself to be a champion of responsible tourism during the World Cup. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

South Africa – and therefore Cape Town – did not have a positive global reputation prior to the hosting of the World Cup, largely as a result of one-sided and exaggerated reporting on crime as our only defining characteristic as a country. It was imperative that these perceptions were changed for the better well ahead of time.

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Tangible tools

As kick-off approached, Cape Town was changing all around us for the better. The work on logistics and infrastructure – new roads and better access, the integrated rapid transit (IRT) system, eight new hotels, the new Cape Town Station and fabulous new Cape Town Stadium, and the massive overhaul of Cape Town International Airport to bring it up to world standards – was a daily reminder of what was to come.

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Tourism champions

With our welcome ready, it was vitally important that Cape Town as a city showed itself to be a champion of responsible tourism. Cape Town Tourism took the lead, engaging stakeholders across all levels to ensure that our visitors had the best possible experience of Africa’s greatest city.

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Connecting communities

Cape Town Tourism was the leading organisation to convert countless Capetonians into ambassadors for their city by being proudly South African and, in particular, proudly Capetonian.

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Welcoming the world

The involvement of Cape Town Tourism had a profound influence in changing Cape Town’s image, where locals and international fans alike experienced the newly refined city. The warm welcome at the airport and all other major ports of entry initiated a series of positive experiences for fans and South Africans visiting the city. 

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Legacy and lessons

Cape Town Tourism’s focus has never been on the short-term benefits of hosting this event, but rather on maximising the long-term benefits and changing the opinion the world has of Cape Town.

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