In preparation for the Soccer World Cup in 2010, Cape Town Tourism will need an extra R13 million over the next three years to deliver upon its visitor strategy.
In its presentation to the City of Cape Town's Portfolio Committee for Economic, Social Development & Tourism, the tourism body said that the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation had hailed its 2010 visitor strategy as a benchmark model.
"We have to put strategies in place that can position Cape Town Tourism as a global model of visitor service excellence and contribute towards establishing Cape Town as the world's best travel destination," says Councillor Simon Grindrod, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic and Social Development.
In supporting the request for additional funding Grindrod emphasised that tourism remained a critical component of the City's job creation strategy.
He says there was no doubt that for every rand invested in tourism marketing, infrastructure and visitor services, Cape Town reaps enormous returns.
"The City of Cape Town needs to ensure that these benefits are further shared with previously marginalised communities and that the real magic of Cape Town and its people are shared with visitors," Grindrod says.
Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CTT General Manager says: "As a member of the 2010 World Cup Task Team, Cape Town Tourism (CTT) is working with FIFA, MATCH, CTRU, the Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town to ensure that the tourism industry is ready to host the best World Cup in history,"
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 way beyond 2010.
"In order to compete globally, we need to invest R13 million over the next three years in a state of the art data management system that will host an integrated eBusiness platform linking our website with an on-line booking centre and customer contact centre. We also need to improve our Visitor Information Centre (VIC) network, and invest in training and skills development.
"This will also help us achieve our goals of establishing Cape Town as a top international destination and maximising the economic benefits of tourism to all communities and individual tourism businesses," says du Toit-Helmbold.
"If the promises made through destination marketing cannot be delivered upon and exceeded through excellent visitor services and remarkable experiences, the investment in destination marketing is null and void.
"As a membership organisation representing more than 2 000 tourism businesses, we are the interface between the visitor and the destination, unlocking the authentic experiences that our City has to offer the world and allowing small businesses the opportunity to get access to market," she said.
Established in 2004 after the merger of previous local tourism structures, CTT today manages 20 VICs and interacts with over 2 million visitors per annum. Since May 2005, its number of BEE and emerging entrepreneur members has increased by 400%.
During the past year, the organisation has expanded its network of VICs to Table Mountain, Willowbridge and Canal Walk, making sure that more local people and visitors are reached. It has also investigated the feasibility of setting up VICs in the Strand and Gordon's Bay, the Two Oceans Craft Centre at Masiphumelele and Look Out Hill in Khayelitsha.
In addition to a vibrant VIC network in Langa, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha, CTT also provides visitor services support in Mitchell's Plain, Mamre, Khayelitsha and Masiphumelele.
The organisation also provides entrepreneurial support programmes at all its VICs and administers Tourism Help Desks across Cape Town. In partnership with the City of Cape Town, it presents tourism outreach and awareness clinics and manages digital business centres.
"We have implemented the Tourism BEE Scorecard and are now assisting our members to do the same. A tracking system is now in place to better monitor transformation growth in the tourism industry," says du Toit-Helmbold.
Other services include the annual distribution of 300 000 copies of the Official Cape Town Visitors Guide; participation at major trade shows; development of a Digital Multi-Media Platform; the establishment of Local Area Marketing Forums; initiatives to market Cape Town as a 365 day a year destination such as the Cape Town on Sale Campaign; and programmes to manage perceptions with regard to safety and security issues.
In its first year of operation, CTT self-generated R3,5m and received a grant of R6,2m from the City of Cape Town which was then managing about 40% of the visitor services. In the second year, self generated income grew to R4,5m and the City increased its grant to R10m, handing over the total management of visitor services to CTT.
For 2006/07, it had set itself a target of R6,3m for self generated income. For the ten months to date, it has already generated R6,4m. Even higher targets have been set for the next financial year, gearing the organisation for 2010 and beyond.
14 JUNE 2007
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 2201
COUNCILLOR SIMON GRINDROD
MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
TEL: 021 400 1384
MARIETTE DU TOIT-HELMBOLD
CAPE TOWN TOURISM GENERAL MANAGER
TEL: 021 487 6800