The annual general meeting of the Cape Town Tourism membership was hosted by Tsogo Sun at the Cape Sun hotel in the CBD recently. The Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, headlined the evening's addresses, which were threaded together by the MC, Katlego Maboe.
Alderman De Lille said that despite challenging times, tourism numbers remained healthy, "However," said De Lille, "the certainties of the past cannot be relied upon. A range of factors, including new development patterns, new tourism markets and destinations and changing financial realities will shift this pattern in coming years if we become complacent." De Lille called for creativity and fresh thinking in tourism marketing.
The well-attended event was also a chance for many to see the new CEO, Enver Duminy, in action. Duminy shared that he was reaching the end of his first 100 days; a period of listening in which the new CEO has heard from members and stakeholders about the challenges and aspirations of the tourism sector. Duminy called for unity and collaborative effort from the membership itself saying that he is "convinced that those members who participate actively with us are willing to pay testament to the rewards".
Anton Groenewald, executive director for tourism, events and marketing at the City of Cape Town also called for a more collaborative approach and pointed to the need for business to partner with and invest in tourism. Groenewald also proposed that the tourism industry meets to strategise about the destination; a suggestion well received by members present at the event.
New board members
A trio of new board members were voted onto Cape Town Tourism's board: Chantelle Cole (executive manager of strategic marketing of the V&A Waterfront), Linda Pampallis (CEO of Thompsons Africa) and John van Rooyen (regional director of the Tsogo Sun), whilst long-standing board members Susanne Faussner-Ringer and Pierre du Plessis stepped down.
Cape Town Tourism's board chairman, Sabine Lehmann, noted that: "In the past, Cape Town's tourism sector has been marked by segmentation. Only through unity of purpose and a common message can we become a stronger, more determined player in the global tourism game."
In the meantime, its business as usual for Cape Town Tourism as "tourism season" opens in the Mother City. It is still too early to predict the occupancy rates and influx for season 2013/14, but the industry is optimistic that travellers from both traditional and new source markets will continue to aspire to travel to destination Cape Town.
A string of accolades for the previous year support this view and include Cape Town being named One of the World's 10 Most Loved Cities - CNNgo. The Number Two City in The World - as voted by Conde Nast readers. The Telegraph Travel's readers were equally enthusiastic, voting Cape Town their Favourite World City. Cape Town was also named The Top Destination in Africa, and moved up to number 16 in the Travellers Choice Top Destination in the World Awards.
Cape Town Tourism itself garnered acclaim for its e-marketing campaigns. The organisation was honoured by Travel + Leisure with a Smitty Award for its Send Your Facebook Profile to Cape Town campaign, a viral marketing game that had Facebook users encouraged to sign their profiles up for a holiday, complete with e-tickets, tailor-made itineraries and daily feedback and photos of the places the users profile had experienced.
The same campaign also won Cape Town Tourism and agency partners, Ogilvy & Mather and Flow Communications, a Gold Loerie Award and a Cannes Gold Lion. Cape Town Tourism's #LoveCapeTown campaign was also used as a case study for Best Practice in Travel Blogging, at World Travel Market 2012, in London.
To read a copy of the Cape Town Tourism Annual Report 2013, go to www.capetown.travel/content/page/agm-2013