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Monday Feb 18, 2013

Cape Town nets R2 billion from event hosting

Cape Town tourism receives an annual boost of R2 billion from hosting major events. The city takes nearly 50 percent of the market share of conventions hosted in Africa.

The Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Last year, Cape Town's central city events included the Mining Indaba ( R106 million), Design Indaba (R326.9m), Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour (R450m), Cape Town International Jazz Festival (R700m), Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (R223m) and the Loerie Awards and Creative Week (R100m).

Rob Kane, chairman of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District said: "These events together attract well over 159 400 attendees, which has enormous positive ripple effects on business such as hotels and retailers within the CBD, too.

"Our research shows that 30 percent of visitors who come here for business at first come back again for leisure," Kane said.

"The statistics are a result of a strategy aimed at ensuring the CBD is a quality environment where business can flourish" he said.

According to the Cape Town Central City Improvement District's 2012 State of Cape Town Central City Report, the CBD hosts 75 percent of all major local events as well as 90 percent of business and international events in the Cape Town metro.

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, chief executive of Cape Town Tourism said: "While international visitors do weigh up the cost and time of a long-haul flight to the tip of Africa from Europe and America, the travel time is offset by the complexity and authenticity of our diverse and textured urban offering".

Kane said the CBD's status as a favourite destination for conferencing was not a fleeting one. He said that according to the Cape Town Central City Improvement District's report last year, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) already had more than 863 bookings confirmed until 2020 and with the centre's R700m expansion scheduled for completion in mid 2015, that number was set to increase.

Readers of the Daily Telegraph, one of the UK's most widely-read daily newspapers, voted Cape Town as their "favourite city worldwide" last year.

"Tourism of any kind is a vital contributor to the economy of the central city of Cape Town," Kane said.

"We have no doubt that with the expansion of the CTICC and improving infrastructure such as the expanded public transport network and faster broadband, we will be able to grow tourism in Cape Town even further, increasing the 30 percent of business visitors who return to our shores for leisure," he said.

Earlier this month the MEC for Finance and Tourism's office said the CTICC had contributed almost R20bn to South Africa's GDP in the nine years since its construction.

In the 2011/12 financial year, more than 7 000 direct and indirect employment opportunities were created in the Western Cape and across South Africa as a result of the centre's activities.

The future macro-economic benefits of the CTICC's expansion have been calculated as follows:

Contribution to the national GDP of R705m in 2016, increasing to R1.98bn by 2018. The cumulative contribution to GDP is expected to exceed R7.7bn by 2020.

Contribution to Western Cape GDP of R214m in 2016 increasing to R531m by 2020. The cumulative contribution to GDP to total R2.2bn by 2020.

The creation of 539 sustainable direct jobs in 2016, increasing to 1 082 direct jobs in the province by 2020.

The creation of 888 indirect jobs throughout South Africa in 2016, increasing to 1 973 indirect jobs by 2020.

Cumulative contributions to taxes of over R736m, indirect household income of R4.0bn and the generation of net foreign exchange of R181m by 2020.

Cape Argus


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