Cape Town and the Western Cape gear up for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

A delegation from Cape Town and the Western Cape is currently representing the destination at Soccerex in Johannesburg. Some 4,000 delegates and 300 exhibitors from over 95 nations are attending this business convention for football worldwide.

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism addressed the media and delegates at a presentation on Cape Town and Western Cape’s visitor strategy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“As a well established leisure, business and events destination and with an acclaimed provincial visitor services strategy and excellent local and regional tourism network, Cape Town and the Western Cape is gearing up to welcome the thousands of visitors expected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup”, du Toit-Helmbold says.

“As one of the Host Cities of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Cape Town is being positioned as the Party and Lifestyle Capital of the event”, says Grant Haskin, the Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town. “Over and above a total of nine matches scheduled, the Final Draw will also take place in Cape Town in December 2009 with thousands of international media and broadcasters descending upon Cape Town for this spectacle, the size of which our city has not yet seen.”

Initial surveys indicate that four out of five potential visitors to the 2010 FIFA World Cup plan on making Cape Town their address of choice.

Cape Town is undergoing an evolution, with major infrastructure upgrades, foreign investment; security beefed up and an exciting serge in the creative economy of the city. Cape Town has a very well established tourism industry with eight new hotels being built in the run up to the World Cup. In the last four years, Cape Town’s capacity has been grown by 45%. There are currently 1 134 accommodation establishments in central Cape Town offering a total of 21 094 beds, with a further 26 021 beds in close proximity. The goal is to offer 57 247 beds by 2009 and close to 70 000 within a two hour radius by 2010. Extensive upgrades to the international airport, train station and road system are currently underway.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold summarises the expectant mood; “With less than two years to go to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the eyes of the world are upon us. We have entered the most opportune time in tourism our country and city have ever seen.”

“There has never been a more exciting time to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape.”

Cape Town and the Western Cape has been hard at work preparing for the greatest sporting showcase in the world since 2004, when a new destination marketing and visitor strategy was developed to guide the destination towards and beyond 2010.

“This is the single biggest marketing opportunity for our country and our city and we must ensure that we capitalize upon it to establish a sustainable and excellent tourism legacy,” says du Toit-Helmbold.

The importance of exceptional visitor services in delivering upon the brand promise is a key element of the destination’s tourism strategy.

“The extensive and well-established network of visitor services in Cape Town and the Western Cape plays an integral part in delivering an excellent service to everybody visiting our beautiful destination. Our visitor services team is dedicated ambassadors of Cape Town and the Western Cape and they help to make the visitor’s experience, local or international, unforgettable,” says Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited.

Cape Town Tourism, in partnership with Cape Town Routes Unlimited, has played a leading role in the development of a 2010 specific visitor services strategy as a key element of its over-arching tourism and marketing strategy.

The master plan takes into account the expected dramatic increase in visitors to Cape Town, tough international competition, the advent of new communications technology and the need for a visitor services legacy that will support tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape way beyond 2010.

A key objective is to provide a legacy for the World Cup by integrating existing SMME’s and BEE establishments in the accommodation and transport sector, into the official booking systems.  A further objective is to leave a legacy of improved quality and service excellence for tourism businesses, particularly SMME’s.

Cape Town and the Western Cape is setting new benchmarks in visitor services.

From one-stop Gateway Centres located at strategic entry points into the destination, Hub and Satellite Visitor Centres, Unmanned Visitor Information Points and Alternative Information Sources like mobile units, touch screen devices and hand-held devices, it is no wonder that the United Nations World Tourism Organisation recognises its strategy as a world best.

Cape Town Tourism has commenced with the roll-out of its new state of the art digital media platform that allows for decentralised information provision through touch screen and plasma units. “We are taking information to the visitor instead of demanding of the visitor to find us”, says du Toit-Helmbold. “By 2010 information points will be available at all major hotels, at transport hubs and on public transport, in and near the Green Point Stadium, Fanparks, key public spaces and at all major tourism attractions.”

The requirements of 2010 have major implications for Cape Town and the Western Cape’s visitor services. It is an opportunity to raise the benchmark further and reach new levels of excellence. “There is an urgency to deliver upon our strategies and capitalize upon the many opportunities that come with hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup”, says Haskin.

Tourism must be able to handle large numbers of information enquiries in a short space of time through its network of visitor centres, its contact centre based at Cape Town Tourism and the web. The Visitor Centre Network is undergoing an upgrade and through private partnership the network of Visitor Centres are being expanded and new mobile units designed to use at special events, shows and at locations such as beaches and other public spaces.

Technology is a key pillar of the strategy. Purpose designed Web-based information, accessible by smart phone, as well as PC/laptop will be introduced and a more significant investment made in eMarketing to reach a wider and more web-savvy audience. A new SMS message service is also being developed.

For the tourism industry, a vital component around the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is the notion of an extended stay. The extra days of revenue will have a significant impact on the financial benefit experienced by the tourism industry during the World Cup period. To this end, Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited is marketing the destination as a package with authentic, value-for-money experiences to encourage visitors to stay and holiday.

Of course, the most memorable aspect of any visitors 2010 experience will be the people of the host city and regions of the Western Cape. Cape Town Tourism has begun implementing a Living Cape Town, Loving Cape Town campaign that asks locals to become ambassadors for their city, and tourists in their own hometown. Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du-Toit Helmbold comments; “The people of the Western Cape have so much to be proud of and we are immesurably rich in our diversity. Our destination’s unique selling point is its scenic beauty and diversity reflected in our city and the beautiful regions of the Western Cape on the city’s doorstep. For us to host the best World Cup ever, our own people must celebrate living in the most remarkable destination on earth and be genuinely proud to welcome the world into their homes and hearts.”


Released for Cape Town Tourism by
Rabbit in a Hat Communications
Contact : Sascha Polkey
+27 21 447 3198
+27 83 414 0552

Cape Town Tourism
Contact : Mariette du-Toit Helmbold (CEO)
+ 21 27 487 6800
+27 83 225 5955

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