Posted: 2 Sep 2020 City launches strategy to reignite tourism in Cape Town



Today, as we mark the start of Tourism month, I am excited to launch our Tourism Bounce-Back-Strategy, together with Cape Town Tourism and officials from the City’s Destination Marketing Department. This strategy aims to reimagine and reignite tourism in Cape Town through targeted and research based interventions that will allow us to bounce back stronger than before.

Established early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism task team focused on co-ordinating the interventions needed to minimise the devastating effect that the virus has on tourism and related industries.

This team has devised and is now implementing the Tourism Bounce-Back-Strategy to ensure Cape Town’s tourism and related sectors get back on their feet as soon as possible.

This strategy, detailed below, includes the marketing and communications approach for our six pillars - to Visit, Live, Work, Study, Play & Invest in Cape Town - as well as lobbying national government to reopen international travel as soon as possible, and domestic campaigns targeted at locals and marketing Cape Town as a quality and affordable destination.

We have been voted the best city in the world seven times in a row. We have so much to offer, and we must remind local and international tourists of these offerings.

A cornerstone of our recovery plan is the Six Pillar Strategy.

This Six Pillar Strategy is our strategic marketing and communications approach to reimagining and reigniting visitor demand to Visit, Live, Work, Study, Play and Invest in Cape Town. It allows us to provide a rich and holistic view of all the city has to offer across the six themes.

  • Our Destination Marketing unit is in the process of gathering research into tourist behaviour changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19. This will inform our strategy on an ongoing basis.
  • We are investing in airport branding and tailoring targeted messaging in many of our key source markets to visit Cape Town. This is to ensure Cape Town is at the top of mind for domestic travellers and for when international travel commences.
  • We will soon launch an exciting and easy-to-use SMART CITY app which will help increase business between local and international markets.

The City of Cape Town has also renewed funding for the successful Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) initiative, located in WESGRO, an initiative to get the aviation sector back on its feet. By boosting direct flights, or route expansions we create more efficient connections between our city and key source markets, which is crucial if we are to capitalise on global business. At the end of the day, more connections create jobs and deliver trade and tourism opportunities.

Together with our strategic business partners, we are working on recovery plans for the aviation sector including rebuilding confidence in air travel, and the expansion of air cargo.

However, all of this planning means little if our international borders do not open as soon as is responsibly possible. Therefore, I continue to engage with my national counterparts to lobby for and request key information on estimates of when international travel will be allowed.

As we approach our peak season, the reopening may be a lifeline to many in our local tourism sector.

While we plan for the reopening of our international borders, we must focus inward, on the vital domestic market.

Cape Town is a world-class destination and we predict that, instead of going overseas for a top travel experience when borders open, South Africans will look closer to home and see that Cape Town has as much to offer, if not more.

For our domestic travellers, we recognise that affordability is tops. We pride ourselves in not only being accessible but also affordable. Thus, we are working closely with our official destination marketing agency, Cape Town Tourism (CTT), to promote and raise awareness around activities that are pocket friendly.

CTT has compiled a list of 50 things to do for under R50 which showcases the many ways to enjoy what Cape Town has to offer without spending a fortune. The ‘Pocket-friendly Cape Town’ campaign (#pocketfriendlycapetown) provides visitors and locals with tips on interesting and affordable things to do and places to see. I encourage all residents and visitors to take a look, details are available here:

We are also working with industry and CTT to offer more affordable packages for locals to explore the Mother City.

I am confident that together with Cape Town Tourism, and with the initiatives mentioned above, we will recover from this crisis, stronger than before.

We can and will bounce back with the right targeted interventions.