Cape Town, a city for all seasons

Cape Town’s hospitality industry may have mixed reviews about Winter 2009, but Cape Town Tourism has enjoyed positive results on the pro-active campaign they conducted on behalf of their membership base.  In a joint marketing partnership with Cape Town Tourism, Thompson’s Travel reported year on year increase in travel bookings to Cape Town of 37%, from May to June and 59% for the month of July. 

Cape Town Tourism launched its Warm Up to the Mother City Winter Campaign in June 2009. The campaign rested on three pivotal marketing tools; a mini-site,, which served as a catalogue for the exceptional winter specials on a 50% off or value-added basis, a partnership with Thompson’s Travel and an awareness campaign which ran through the media. 

The campaign addressed seasonality perceptions that suggested that Cape Town was synonomous with blue skies and beach holidays.  Instead Warm Up to the Mother City this Winter explored the emotive language of winter through food, wine, outdoor pursuits, extreme sport and a cultural focus which encouraged Capetonians and South African’s to get out from under their duvets.

Mariette du-Toit Helmbold, Cape Town Tourism CEO, explains: “We wanted to stimulate the tourism market and turn the tide on the ubiquitous quiet winters, but we also wanted to activate citizen pride so that Capetonians would start to look forward to hosting the world in the winter of 2010”.

Whilst some members from Gordon’s Bay, Newlands, the CBD, Noordhoek and the Northern suburbs had noticed more enquiries because of traffic driven through the website, those establishments that reported excellent returns had boosted their winter sales by actively marketing themselves over and above the Warm Up to the Mother City this Winter campaign. 

Says du Toit-Helmbold: “Cape Town Tourism provides various marketing channels for the industry to communicate to the public.  Whilst we are responsible for promoting a blanket awareness of Cape Town’s winter, in which all of our members are welcome to participate, we always recommend that establishments roll out their own marketing campaigns too. Because each business has a different success model, pro-active self-promotion coupled with incentives like the Warm Up to the Mother City Winter Campaign, is what stimulates sales”.

The joint marketing partnership with Thompson’s Travel specifically targeted the Johannesburg market. Michelle Jolley, Product Campaigner for Thompsons comments; “We are so pleased with the results.  The campaign has really provided us with the additional push that was needed to entice travellers to Cape Town during winter”.

Travel trends are increasingly web-driven and visitors from no less than 80 countries worldwide visited the mini-site during the campaign, which was driven by the 795 winter pages indexed by Google.  In total, the Winter Campaign page received 28 992 page views, which is promising for a debut campaign. 

Other contributing factors to Cape Town’s winter survival were sporting events like the Confederations Cup, the Lions Tour and the last-minute decision to host the IPL tournament in South Africa. In addition, it is thought that South Africans who traditionally fly north for their winter holidays, localised their holidays due to budget constraints.


Rabbit in a Hat Communications
Brenda Vos
Account Manager
021 447 3198
082 961 9433

Cape Town Tourism
Nicole Moody
PR and Communications Manager
021 487 6800
072 283 8315

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