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Cape Town, you’re showing off again.

The accolades for the Mother City keep streaming in, not only are we Africa’s Leading Festival and Events Destination, but we are now the World’sLeading Festival and Events Destination. This announcement was made at the 2018 World Travel Awards that took place at the Pátio da Galé, in Lisbon, Portugal over the weekend.

For a City hungry for investment and jobs, this comes at the perfect time.

The City’s annual calendar is filled with some of the most iconic events; and an intergovernmental team has just returned from Singapore, where they presented Cape Town’s bid to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. Mayor Dan Plato says adding the Netball World Cup to the growing list would be a key milestone that will also aid the City in promoting women in sport.

The Mother City plays host to several major events every year, which brings in a staggering amount of money.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour brings about R408 million into the economy and creates about 1 500 jobs.

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival aka ‘Africa’s grandest gathering’ is one of Cape Town’s mainstay events having been hosted in the Mother City for the last 18 years. It contributes about R600 million to the economy. It is the largest jazz festival on the continent and recognised as the fourth largest in the world.

The Design Indaba Conference, the festival of creativity, has been hosted in Cape Town for the last two decades and sees about 48 000 visitors from over 26 countries come to the city to share ideas on all things design. Over the past six years, Design Indaba has ploughed back about R1,7 billion into the economy.

Cape Town will be hosting the exciting HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series showpiece for the fourth time from 8 – 9 December at the beautiful Cape Town Stadium. HSBC Cape Town Sevens brings about R674 million into the economy. The event helps to create 1 400 jobs and enjoys live global TV coverage.

Of course, the world’s most beautiful marathon, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Race, is currently in its 48th year and going strong. It provides a R672 million boost to the economy.

As Africa’s only IAAF Gold label status marathon, the City of Cape Town is a proud supporter of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, which helps the Mother City maintain its reputation as the Events Capital of Africa.

The world’s premier offshore yacht race, the Volvo Ocean Race, made its 11thstop in Cape Town for the South African leg of the competition last December. The Volvo Ocean Race brings in about R540 million into the economy through this biannual event.

Eight of the events being hosted in Cape Town over the next 12 months will contribute more than R3 billion to the local economy and create more than 20 000 temporary jobs.

Mayor Dan Plato says it’s a priority for the City to continue to host events of the highest international standards.

“We want the world to know that Cape Town is the destination to invest in, a place to work, for entertainment and the best place to live. This is not just an award for Cape Town; it is an award for South Africa and Africa. We want Cape Town to position itself as a place where the world can access Africa and Africa can access the world.”

This means constantly looking for opportunities to promote Cape Town and bidding for the next mega or major event to further stimulate the local economy. This also means cutting through the red tape and ensuring that permits for events are issued efficiently. In the previous financial year, through its permit office, the City issued 1277 event permits and supported 180 events – this has quadrupled over the last five years. City bosses are looking at an E-Permit system next year.

Our international peers are taking note of our success. The City of Portsmouth, in the south of England, uses the City’s strategy as a blueprint to assist with strategically positioning Portsmouth as an events-friendly destination.

We must remember that we do not live in a silo here in the beautiful Mother City. The more we prosper, the more the rest of the country will too.


Liesl (1)

Liesl Smit – News Manager, Smile 90.4FM News