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.
For Cape Town Tourism, with the hard work of strategic planning behind us, it was now time to start delivering too.
Visitor Information Centres
Cape Town Tourism’s key Visitor Information Centres (VICs) were upgraded and branded with the welcome campaign message. VIC staff received extensive service-excellence training and their uniforms were designed to reflect friendly professionalism.
- A special edition of the Cape Town Official Visitors’ Guide 2010 was published, with an additional print run of 250 000.
- A collection of eight local area maps was produced to encourage fans to experience the many attractions of Cape Town’s diverse local areas, namely the city centre, Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Flats, Helderberg, Cape Peninsula, Northern Suburbs, Blaauwberg Coast and Southern Suburbs.
- Cape Town Tourism, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, designed and produced orientation signage that was installed permanently at key sites to assist first-time visitors in navigating the city with ease.
- Cape Town Tourism partnered with The Big Issue to produce a special World Cup supplement, “Your A-Z Guide to Cape Town”, written by locals for fans, with information gathered via a crowdsourcing campaign. (Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor to a large group of people or community, a crowd, through an open call).
Decorating the city
Cape Town Tourism started a “Cape Town welcomes you” city decoration campaign, despite restrictive FIFA and Host City regulations relating to non-sponsors. The visual identity of the campaign was based on a rainbow palette to reinforce the idea of Cape Town as a rainbow nation city and to celebrate Cape Town’s cultural diversity and vibrancy.
The city decoration campaign included:
- 130 street pole flags with rainbow graphics and Host City branding installed at key sites around the city, including Sea Point Main Road and at GrandWest Casino
- A public art installation of 200 trees wrapped in a rainbow palette of coloured cotton fabric by renowned Cape artist Strijdom van der Merwe in Heerengracht Road and Pier Place, a key pedestrian artery leading from the city’s major bus terminal to the start of the Fan Walk
- A main kiosk in the city centre – on St George’s Mall – branded with the welcome campaign messaging
- CitySightseeing buses customised with the welcome campaign messaging
- 1 000 Cape Town welcome flags printed and distributed to establishments along the Fan Walk, to the new station concourse and to Cape Town Tourism member establishments
- 45 outdoor telescopic banners with welcome branding produced and distributed free of charge to strategically located Cape Town Tourism member establishments
- More than 3 000 welcome campaign decals displayed free of charge on all Budget Car Rental vehicles and iKapa tour buses
FIFA.com served pages to 150-million people over the course of the World Cup, exceeding forecasts for page impressions by 1.5-billion. (Cape Town Tourism featured strongly on the FIFA website.) This reflected a fundamental shift in the way information was communicated – digital engagement from across the globe meant that the whole world was talking about the event, in real time.
Electronic conversations across all social media picked up momentum as the competition progressed and South Africa proved itself able to stage a successful tournament. The total reach for conversations discussing South Africa in relation to the World Cup in July was 147 880 000 people. The US accounted for 58% of mentions, followed by the UK with 10% and South Africa coming in third with 8%. Significant volumes of mentions streamed in from Canada, Australia, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Singapore and Italy. Across the conversations, 55% of mentions were strongly positive, 5% were negative and 40% were neutral or objective.
Cape Town Tourism’s website – http://www.capetown.travel – featured a dedicated World Cup 2010 mini-site, launched well in advance of the FIFA World Cup™ in June 2009. The site was optimised to offer a comprehensive real-time information resource for fans in the city, from public transport schedules and “getting around” content to “what’s on” listings and entertainment.
Traffic to this site exceeded expectations, with 185 917 unique visitors over the 12 months leading up to the World Cup. The site attracted 83 027 unique visitors during June 2010 alone, and a peak of 8 271 visitors in a day on June 10, 2010. Over 350 blogs were posted on the site during the 12 months leading up to the World Cup, amounting to approximately 140 000 words relating to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ (the equivalent of about two novels).
By building the 2010 section a year in advance, Cape Town Tourism managed to secure high rankings for generic search terms on Google – eg “Cape Town 2010” – according the mini-site greater authority and resulting in better rankings during the World Cup.
Cape Town Tourism’s overall website traffic skyrocketed from 60 000 visits for May 2010 to a monthly total of over 135 000 visits for the four weeks of the FIFA World Cup™, 125% up on the May figures. Almost 7 000 of these visits were via mobile phones.
Cape Town Tourism is viewed as a leader in utilising social media for destination marketing.
- Facebook: Cape Town Tourism’s I ♥ Cape Town Facebook fan page grew from 60 000 fans in May 2010 to over 80 000 by July 12, 2010.
- Twitter: By July 2010, Cape Town Tourism had 2 049 followers on Twitter and words like “vuvuzela” and “makarapa” had gone global.
- YouTube: This channel showcased video footage of fans enjoying the Fan Walk, Fan Fest and key tourist attractions in Cape Town, and provided a richer experience for viewers than photos and articles could do. By July 2010 there were 254 YouTube subscribers.
- Cape Town Flickr group: This had 615 members by July 2010, and they have provided over 11 100 images of Cape Town free of charge for our website image library. These images are all of a high quality and are often taken from creative and unique angles, making them highly personal. Flickr also refers a large amount of visitor traffic to the website.
- Blogging: A detailed website content plan was devised for the duration of the tournament, allowing us to cover all the World Cup highlights in Cape Town, and to build a comprehensive World Cup archive of photos, videos and articles showing the success of the World Cup and how much fun the fans and locals had in Cape Town during this historic event.
- .mobi: We launched a .mobi site for fans on the move (http://www.capetown.travel/mobile) to access via their cellphones in May 2010 and attracted 5 930 unique visits in six weeks.
- BeenThere.tv: Cape Town Tourism’s BeenThere.tv photo kiosks proved very popular with World Cup fans, with more than 25 000 photographs taken over the World Cup period and many fans joining the Facebook fan page via the link on the Cape Town page of the BeenThere.tv website.