No crises for Cape Tourism

No crises for Cape Tourism.

Table Mountain - Cape Town

Table Mountain - Cape Town

Cape Town Tourism cautions against alarmist statements about a tourism crisis. “We are in the middle of winter, traditionally a very tough time for the tourism sector in Cape Town.  This is reflected in the low occupancy levels currently experienced by the majority of the industry. The increased supply, decreased demand and lingering recession add to the challenges the tourism sector faces,” says Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold. There are signs of recovery, albeit at a slow rate of 3-4%, which will mean that recovery could take significantly longer than initially anticipated unless we change tactics.”

Much of the commentary around the dip in tourism has been hinged around the notion that the FIFA World Cup™ had no immediate positive economic effect on the tourism sector. It has been proven internationally that an event in itself is not enough to affect a destination’s future economic growth; it is merely a catalyst for growth. We have learned from other long-haul destinations like Sydney (who hosted the Olympics in 2000 and saw a dramatic drop in tourism revenue for five years thereafter) that we cannot be over-reliant on major events to bring about immediate tourism and economic development.

“Cape Town Tourism has always cautioned that the World Cup was not a short-term solution for any of Cape Town’s problems. It was never offered as the golden solution to tourism influx, although, at the time we had hoped for more visitors to the actual event”, says CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold, “The World Cup was a facilitator for long-term economic development, a powerful awareness and marketing platform and it provided an infrastructural legacy that is shaping and changing our city for the future”.

Du Toit-Helmbold cites the improvements to road infrastructure, new pedestrian and cycle routes, upgrades of the Cape Town International Airport and central railway station as well as the start of a new rapid bus service as developments that have significantly increased the efficiency and liveability of Cape Town.