Cape Town Tourism - Table Mountain

Busy events schedule for March and April in Cape Town

March and April look set to be a busy two months for the Cape Town tourism industry.

It’s festival time, and there are a number of exciting events you should set down in your calendar.

In the wake of a colourful and lively week of Cape Town Pride, which took place between February 24 and March 6, Cape Town is ready to continue the celebrations with the annual Cape Town Festival, running from March 19 to 21 – an opportunity to pay tribute to the rich diversity and history of an incredible city and its people. That same weekend, the Cape Town Carnival will march down Long Street – an occasion sure to draw crowds and drive excitement.

The Community Chest Carnival, running from March 2 to 5, is in its 59th year. Those in attendance will be treated to a weekend of international food and local entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is set to take place on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26. Careful programming has been responsible for the success of the event in previous years, and this year should prove to be no different. The impressive lineup includes both local and international talent, and the performances will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). There are also a number of related workshops scheduled to take place over an eight-day period, aimed at furthering the Cape Town’s music arts industry.

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s economic contribution to the tourism industry in South Africa is significant, prompting President Jacob Zuma to make mention of its success in his State of the Nation address. He placed emphasis on the potential for job creation (in 2010, the festival created over 2 000 jobs) and its contribution of more than R475-million to Cape Town’s economy.

While Cape Town is buzzing with energy, cyclists will be preparing themselves for the scenic Cape Argus Pink n Pay Cycle Tour, which will take place on March 13, and the eight-day Absa Cape Epic will take place from March 27 through to April 3.

CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold urges visitors and locals to embrace all that’s on in the city, saying, “The month ahead will be a celebration of all that our colourful, creative city has to offer. It’s going to be an exciting time for the Mother City and much of the action is free, so join in and enjoy sharing your city (and its wealth of inspiring creative talent) with the world.”

Not only is Cape Town’s event schedule alive with activity for the next couple of months, but its long-term events line-up also looks set to keep the industry humming. Industry members are encouraged to share in the celebrations and events taking place over the next couple of months, as well as diarise a number of interesting conferences coming up in the longer term.

The CTICC will host its biggest association conference for 2011, with the World Veterinary Congress set to take place there from September 30 through to October 3. It is estimated that some 3 000 delegates will be in attendance over the duration of those four days, and that the congress will contribute roughly R30-million to Cape Town’s economy.

Several international medical conferences are also coming to the city this year, including the 4th Pan African Pain Congress (drawing 500 delegates), the World Mental Health Congress of the (drawing 800 delegates), and the Global Forum for Health Research’s 2011 gathering (drawing 1 500 delegates).

Cape Town will also become a meeting place for those in the education industry, with the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance co-hosting a career guidance conference (drawing 600 delegates) and the Southern African Association for Learning and Educational Differences Congress (drawing 500 delegates) due to take place as well.

The CTICC will also be hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa, along with the International Astronautical Congress 2011 (drawing 2 000 delegates).

Trade fairs of special interest this year include the Propak Cape 2011 and Indian Pumps, Pipes & Valves (IPPV) gatherings for 2011. Propak Cape 2011 will take place from October 25 to 27 and will see 5 000 stakeholders in the packaging, food processing, printing, labelling and plastics industries arrive in the Mother City. IPPV 2011, set to take place from September 28 to 30, will draw Indian manufacturers, exporters, importers, distributors, traders, suppliers, consultancies, service and solution providers and specialists in the pumps, pipes, and valves technology industries to the city.

All these events are sure to have a positive impact on the business and leisure tourism sectors, contributing to Cape Town’s economy as a whole, as well as creating jobs in the process.

A full list of leisure events is available online. Visit the Cape Town tourism blog every Monday and Friday for a summary of the week and weekend event highlights. The blog also includes regular reviews of events and entertainment in the Mother City, great information for visitors and locals alike.

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