Last week, the Mother City marked the end of Tourism Month with an ‘Amazing Race’ style event with schoolchildren who dashed across Cape Town from one landmark to another.
‘The event showcased the many opportunities of being part of this industry to future tourismpreneurs and capped off an exciting month in which we engaged with small businesses about the upcoming season, highlighted tourism platforms such as Muslim-friendly travel and township tours, presented our destination offering to remote workers, and granted hundreds of wishes to locals wanting that perfect Cape Town experience,’ said Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.
Youth Activation outside City Hall
The Freedom to Wish campaign, implemented by Cape Town Tourism (CTT), the official Destination Marketing Organisation, invited Capetonians to nominate themselves or a loved one for a dream experience in the metro.
‘We got to celebrate with Bradley Patience who got down on his knee to present his wife Lucille, from Steenberg, with the Shimanksy Cape Town ring in celebration of their 16th wedding anniversary. We granted the wish of Nashief Cassiem who nominated his mother Rayghana, who has stage four cancer, for a family cruise. And we took members of Khayelitsha’s Isibane Se Africa choir to the top of Table Mountain where they treated other guests to their beautiful voices,’ said Alderman Vos.
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee member for Economic Growth, with Khayelitsha’s Isibane Se Africa choir
The initiative, and that of the schoolchildren’s amazing race, both tie into Find Your Freedom, CTT’s interactive concept wherein users choose an avatar – a Fearless Foodie, Nature Warrior or Urban Adventurer – for a virtual taste of Cape Town. The interactive travel experience is a first-of-its-kind for a destination marketing organisation aimed at increasing bookings and highlighting unique Cape Town experiences.
The race saw the learners separate into groups where they visited the spots showcased in Find Your Freedom, including Table Mountain, a Cape Malay cooking class in Bo-Kaap, and the Nelson Mandela exhibition at City Hall.
‘Find Your Freedom has become the perfect springboard for them to highlight all that the Mother City has to offer, in a variety of ways. When we kicked off the campaign earlier this year, we had a more weighted focus towards international visitors. However, it has been our domestic travellers and our local communities which have kept tourism alive over the last two years and now, together with our members, we acknowledge the importance of giving back to them and giving them the Freedom to Wish! Our members partnered with us to sponsor experiences to fulfil wishes, showing their love for our city and its people.
‘Our gratitude goes out to the people of Cape Town for their continued support, and we are grateful to have been able to provide a lifetime memory for some of them,’ said Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism.
The campaign comes ahead of what is expected to be a busy holiday period with increased international flights, events and festivals, and the opening of the cruise season.
Caption: A member of Khayelitsha’s Isibane Se Africa choir
‘I am excited to share the good news that between November and December, we are expecting 184 international flights per week. This will increase to 191 flights per week between January and March next year. This amounts to approximately 1,56 million two-way seats between November 2022 and March 2023, generating a whopping R7,9 billion in tourism spend. This comes as a result of hard work by the City and its partners to connect with more key source markets, and clever campaigns.
‘We help local businesses to connect with these tourists by giving them the training to shape their operations for this market. For example, CTT has rolled out a Neighbourhood Experience Development training manual to help guide SMMEs in developing their businesses and to encourage neighbourhood readiness. CTT also hosts business development workshops and networking events for their 1000-plus members and the City of Cape Town further supports entrepreneurs with business services and a series of free upskilling classes,’ said Alderman Vos.
‘Tourism holds immense potential for every neighbourhood and business within our city. We need to be true to our purpose of improving the lives of all Capetonians through tourism. Through our various training platforms, we can assist SMMEs to weather adversities like what we experienced during the pandemic through access to tools essential to growth and survival. Throughout this tough period, we have consistently worked on re-looking how we support our local businesses and SMMEs, and how we use this narrative to increase differentiation and remain inclusive,’ said Duminy.
Alderman Vos reiterated that people and places are at the heart of Cape Town’s tourism offering.
‘Through our campaigns and partnerships, we celebrate the diversity of Cape Town and its communities. I look forward to sharing that with visitors from all over the world in the months ahead. The work that we do in tourism is to grow the economy through more bookings which lead to increased trade and job opportunities,’ said Alderman Vos.