Tourism services update

Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, reports from our Visitor Information Centre (VIC) network and partners have indicated that the last quarter of 2010 was a promising period for the tourism industry.

More than 1.6-million vehicles travelled into Cape Town via the N1, N2 and N7 between the beginning of October and the end of December, representing a 10% increase in road traffic when compared to the previous quarter (July to September 2010) and a 3% increase when compared to the same quarter in the previous year (October to December 2009). The busiest arterial road – the N2 – carried more than 750 000 vehicles alone between October and December. December was the busiest month for road travel into Cape Town (over 600 000 vehicles), while October was the least busy month (470 000 vehicles).

Our VIC network welcomed more than 96 098 walk-in visitors between October 1 and December 31 – 47% of whom were international visitors. This is a 32% increase when compared to the previous quarter and a 3% increase on the same period last year.

The VICs furthermore completed 52 494 general enquiries – of which 60% were telephone enquiries and 40% were email enquiries – during the period, representing a 51% increase when compared to the previous quarter but an 8% decrease compared to the same period in 2009 (when most enquiries were World Cup-related).

The metro VIC network (which includes the VICs at the Table Mountain Lower Cable Station, Burg Street and the Cape Town International Convention Centre) received 2 030 reservation enquires during the period, of which 1 017 were converted into bookings, representing a 50% conversion rate. This indicates a 40% increase in booking enquiries and a 23% increase in converted bookings when compared with the previous quarter.

On December 31, 2010, Cape Town Tourism’s membership base stood at 2 093, a decrease of 2% compared with the previous quarter and a 4% decrease compared to the same period last year. Many of the cancelled memberships can be attributed to the closing down of businesses. We are currently reviewing our membership programme, including its benefits and terms and conditions.

As part of our continued plan to advance and develop business support for small, medium and micro enterprises, our tourism services team participated in the Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week from November 15 to 21, 2010. Entrepreneurship week is sponsored by the City of Cape Town as part of their commitment to making the city the entrepreneur capital of South Africa, and will be held annually.

Our tourism services team, along with the Department of Tourism, is proud to announce the reopening of the Digital Business Centres (DBCs) at our Langa and Gugulethu tourism offices, after two years of dormancy. The Cape Town Tourism Board committed to getting these centres operational before the end of 2010, and we are proud to have achieved this objective.

The DBCs provide computers and computing services to the local community, visitors and Cape Town Tourism members who may not have the facilities or ability to access the web.

We are looking for continued support and funding for this worthwhile initiative, and will be in conversation with key partners in this regard.

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