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.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup TM event gave Cape Town the opportunity to show the world how unique this city is, with all its diversity and close proximity to many different attractions. The aim of Cape Town Tourism is to double the economic impact of tourism by 2020 and the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM in Cape Town during winter certainly makes this target more attainable.

Even though it is too early to predict figures, Cape Town Tourism is confident that a good summer season will follow the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM. This, however, would depend on whether the destination’s tourism industry focuses on proactive, price-conscious marketing for the remainder of 2010.

Safety and security

The most important factor with regards to safety and security is that Cape Town must avoid the perception that the city is safe during an event and unsafe when no event takes place. A long-term cultural change needs to be established and continued with regards to consistent safety, and security as well as service excellence, throughout the country and the city.


Cape Town Tourism’s World Cup Industry survey revealed that World Cup visitors were price sensitive, shopping around for the best deals, particularly with regards to accommodation and tours.


The World Cup has acted as a catalyst in developing the capacity of tourism accommodation in Cape Town. The hotel market has been marked by excellent growth over the past few years with our capacity increasing by 45% in the past five years alone. There are currently approximately 1 134 accommodation establishments in Central Cape Town offering a total of 21 094 beds with a further 26 021 beds in the greater Cape Town Metropole. The challenge ahead will be to grown demand to meet this supply.

Countering seasonality

The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has been critical in countering seasonality, bringing Cape Town a significantly better winter than it would have had, and proving that a winter mega event in Cape Town is possible and enjoyable.

Into the future

Cape Town Tourism is focusing on ensuring that most of the people who have visited the city during the World Cup will come back, and bring their family and friends with them. We aim to achieve this by staying in touch with visitors once they have left Cape Town and encourage them to return.

Cape Town Tourism’s Winter Campaign, launched a week after the World Cup ended, was marketed locally through selected radio stations and billboards, and globally via a partnership with online travel-information portal TripAdvisor, which ranked Cape Town among the Top 25 Destinations in the World in their Travellers’ Choice 2010 Best Destinations Awards.


A key trend in the hospitality industry in Cape Town is a greater dedication to sustainable development. This shift was acknowledged by the Ethisphere Institute of New York, when they named Cape Town as one of ten cities in the world most likely to become centres of sustainability by 2020.

Lessons and recommendations

Tourism is central: During the planning phases of the World Cup, the role of tourism was considered to be peripheral to the success of the event. This changed late in the day – around the time of the Final Draw in December 2009 – when Tourism’s central role began to be understood. Tourism’s voice of authority needed to be heard much earlier on in the planning phases of the World Cup in order to optimise the event from a tourism and destination marketing point of view.

Citizens are key: A great city to live in will always be a great city to visit, so citizens are key in terms of destination marketing and tourism.

Online is essential: World Cup fans used the internet extensively, especially via their mobile phones.

Treat the media like gold: Our Guest Relations programme yielded the most significant returns on a relatively small investment.

Global reputation management: Our PR representatives in our three most pessimistic key source markets enabled us to shift negative perceptions into positive ones.

Brand is vital: We believe that Cape Town must unite under a powerful vision and brand that will guide us into the future. Cape Town Tourism will be focussing on developing a compelling tourism brand to entice visitors back to the city.