At Cape Town Tourism’s Annual General Meeting a full report was given into many successful activities that have taken place over the past financial year (July 2016 – June 2017). The period represented many challenges, not least of which have been water shortages, a faltering economy, fires and more, however, the tourism sector continues to experience steady growth.

The organisation detailed highlights from the period that included:

Breaking records and setting the bar high

Most of the top attractions reported excellent growth with Cape Point leading the way at 20% YOY with 1 173 236 visitors, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway with 1 167 598 visitors and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden at 980 168 visitors. December, unsurprisingly, remained the peak month for the attractions.

Cape Town International Airport surpassed the 5 million arrivals mark for the reporting period and demonstrated excellent growth overall; arrivals on international flights was the hero story, recording 25% growth year-on-year (YOY).

Brand reinvention: To stay at the forefront of the global tourism landscape, Cape Town Tourism rolled out a refreshed brand identity from May 2016. Extensive research, reviews of best practice, rigorous process and a lot of heart went into the development of a brand that is both representative of the organisation and the city’s vibrant, creative personality.

A central part of brand reinvention was the creation of the new Cape Town Tourism website, the first mobile-first Destination Management Organisation website on the continent. This put information straight into the hands of visitors, according to their preferences and needs. Proof that the website has been well-received and is keeping ahead of digital trends was the announcement from leading travel publication Skift that the website was chosen as one of the top 25 DMO websites in the world for being user-friendly and making great use of video content to showcase the Travel Like a Local trend within neighbourhoods.

Tackling seasonality in tourism head-on with a campaign devised to drive low-season traffic. The Love Cape Town City Breaks Campaign: The Hello Weekend campaign, in its second year running this fiscal, is geared to attract domestic visitors to Cape Town over winter by offering them value driven packages and unique itinerary ideas that cater for particular preferences, such as outdoor experiences, sport, food, shopping, etc. In partnership with, the campaign elicited a 290% YOY increase in package sales mainly from JHB and KZN to Cape Town.

Halal Partnership with CrescentRating: The organisation has partnered with CrescentRating, the world’s leading authority on Halal travel and a globally recognized independent rating and accreditation service for Halal-friendly travel services. CrescentRating has run workshops and training sessions to create awareness and help prepare local tourism businesses unlock the potential within the Halal travel market.  A chef exchange programme has also been initiated to boost awareness and skills development for local establishments on catering for Halal travel.

It was stated that that while growth in the sector is noteworthy, at all times messaging and constructive actions in response to water shortages must be addressed by businesses and individuals in tourism:

“With consistent visitor growth and development of products and experiences across the city, we see many more opportunities before us. With growth in tourism comes the responsibility to all of us to ensure that water savings measures are taken, from prominent messaging to practical solutions, to promote the ongoing sustainability of the sector.

Whether we are supporting emerging businesses or sharing our love for Cape Town around the world, Cape Town Tourism will continue to tell the Cape Town story to reach new audiences and continue our promise.”Cape Town CEO, Enver Duminy

During the proceedings, Cape Town Tourism board members were announced and congratulated:

Grant Newton, Global Sales & Marketing Manager (Wine & Tourism) – Groot Constantia – re-elected. Grant is respected in the industry and acknowledged for his passion for tourism and wine. His experience over the last 27 years is vast with the last 17 years primarily in senior and executive management roles in the wine, tourism, food and hospitality industries. Grant has served for three years on the board.
Alushca Ritchie, Owner – Cape Connection – re-elected. Her active involvement in tourism-related initiatives and organisations such as; SMME projects including Responsible & Sustainable Tourism, Women in Tourism WC chapter, SKAL Committee member, Wine and Gastronomy Tourism, Rail Tourism, mentorship programmes, travelling media and as a SAQA accredited Facilitator, Assessor and Moderator. She has served three years on the Board of Cape Town Tourism.
Wahida Parker, Managing Director – Table Mountain Aerial Company – elected. Wahida has gained extensive knowledge about the hospitality and tourism industry. She joined Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company in 2016, moving into a bigger tourism landscape in the same year that marked unprecedented success for the Cableway, having achieved nine record months for the year.