Entries tagged with “Accelerate Cape Town”.
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Sunday 6th May 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
An announcement that the tourism industry has been waiting for a long time, that was made via Southern African Tourism Update three days ago, is welcome news. The Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has announced that the Economic Development Partnership (EDP), launched in Cape Town a week ago, will focus on the unification of the ‘divided tourism industry‘ as its first task!
Minister Winde said that the EDP should bring together the tourism industry, currently divided amongst political and municipal boundaries. He said that the successful unification of the tourism industry would be ‘one of the first wins of the EDP’. No further detail is provided as to what exactly is intended for the tourism industry, already shocked at the Minister’s decision to incorporate the now defunct Cape Town Routes Unlimited into Wesgro, a trade and investment agency that has no tourism experience or track record. When we questioned Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten about the EDP and its role relative to his organisation, he claimed to not know anything about the EDP, and referred us to the Western Cape Director of Economic Development and Tourism Solly Fourie.
More important than the unification of the individual tourism organisations throughout the province, is the need to address the duplication between the work done by Cape Town Tourism and the tourism arm of Wesgro. At its recent Marketing presentation, Cape Town Tourism presented its National Geographic campaign shared with Durban Tourism, doing expensive international marketing via the magazine and TV channel in a potential tourism market such as China, and in India, work which should be done by the tourism arm of Wesgro, but ideally by SA Tourism, having a most effectively run office in that country, and a far larger marketing budget.
The EDP was launched at the Cape Town Film Studios outside Cape Town a week ago, intended as ‘an innovative body based on world best practice that will bring economic players from across the province together to drive, lead and coordinate regional economic growth’, said the Minister’s spokesperson. It is planned as an independent membership-based body, the province’s 40 or more business promotion bodies and economic development agencies to be incorporated into the EDP. The main goal is to address poverty, the province’s biggest challenge, by stimulating economic growth and creating jobs, the Minister said. He likened the EDP to the’tiller that allows us to proactively steer our economy, which has been largely rudderless up until now’!
Some of the organisations earmarked to join the EDP include Accelerate Cape Town, Agri Western Cape, the City of Cape Town, the provincial government, Wesgro, Overstrand Municipality, Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut, Fabcos Western Cape, Cape Town Tourism, the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Fair Trade in Tourism, Fedhasa Cape, and NAFCOC Western Cape. The EDP has been convened over the past 15 months by a steering committee led for the Minister by Cape Town Partnership CEO Andrew Boraine.
Given that the EDP is a brand new body still in its infancy, it could take a considerable time for the Minister’s first task of the unification of tourism in the Western Cape to be achieved. Boraine has said that progress in achieving the goals could be slow, and that results may only visible in ten years from now! The biggest issue is how it deals with Cape Town Tourism, which expressed its independence at the time when the Minister first started mooting the concept of an EDP for the Western Cape. A further concern is that Boraine has been quoted as saying that the first EDP priority is the Future Cape 2040 initiative, creating a vision of the future of the province, whereas the Minister has identified the unification of the tourism industry as its first priority!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Monday 16th April 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
A concern about the future marketing of the tourism industry in the Western Cape, given the closure of Cape Town Routes Unlimited and its incorporation within Wesgro, and the departure of its CEO Calvyn Gilfellan on 31 March, motivated me to call Wesgro and request an appointment with its CEO Nils Flaatten. Despite the busy and short week prior to Easter, he made time for the interview on 5 April.
The hurdles put in my way to meet Mr Flaatten were considerable, and demonstrated the personality of the organisation and told me more about the company than the time I spent with Mr Flaatten. It also demonstrated how far removed Wesgro, the Western Cape Trade promotion and Investment agency, is from the Tourism industry, if ‘customer service’ is anything to go by. When I called to set up the interview, Mr Flaatten’s secretary insisted that I follow ‘protocol’ and e-mail her the meeting request, and tell her who I am. I had done this telephonically, and it became a power struggle, with constant interruptions from her, before she accepted my meeting request telephonically. She indicated that it would take a considerable time to get an appointment date, which she would e-mail me! A Tweet to express my dismay about this lack of approachability by our province’s new tourism head, combined with an e-mail to Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Development, Finance and Tourism, led to a call directly from Mr Flaatten, offering a meeting for a few days later at 11h30, or so I heard. Mr Flaatten called at 7h45 on that day, asking where I was, having expected me at 7h30! As a late night blogger and guest house owner I would never have accepted such a time slot, which seemed very ‘Johannesburg’ to me! Mr Flaatten said he would be out of town for two weeks, and could only reschedule a meeting thereafter. Yet his secretary called later in the morning, and offered me a midday meeting, which I accepted with gratitude. For the first time, she offered parking, and took all the relevant details telephonically. I arrived at the building half an hour early, wanting to make sure that I arrived on time, but I was not allowed into the building as Wesgro had not alerted the parking garage staff at the boom! They refused to let me in, and traffic problems were caused with other garage users wanting to enter. I had to call Wesgro to ask them to let me in. However, all the staff were in a meeting, and Mr Flaatten’s secretary could not be contacted. I was told that I would be called back. No such call came, and I had to call again after 20 minutes of being trapped at the boom, and having been threatened by the parking staff that the traffic department would be called if I did not move my car! I was given a bay number by the Wesgro switchboard and relayed this to the boom operator, but it was refused because it had not been sent to them on the prescribed form! Needless to say, this incompetent stakeholder-unfriendly introduction to Wesgro twice in one week made my heart sink, and realise how much smarter and visitor-friendly the Western Cape tourism industry is.
I was shocked when I saw the reception area in which I had to wait for Mr Flaatten, which doubled up as an office, with two ugly red chairs. Mr Flaatten’s office did not look much better, the same style ugly red chairs serving as visitor chairs with a rather nice blue desk, but the blue not matching Wesgro’s corporate blue, the functional office having no warmth or professionalism. Mr Flaatten seemed professional but distant, not giving one the feeling that one could ever have a collegial relationship with him in his new role as provincial tourism head. He has headed up Wesgro for the last two years. I was surprised when he asked me to tell me who I am, not what the interview was about, and he made it appear that he knew nothing about me at all! I at least had Googled his name, and had found out that he went to school in Stellenbosch, served in the South African Navy, and had worked in investment banks in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
I told him that other than its name, and having only a broad idea of what Wesgro does, I knew nothing more, and that I wanted to know what its role will be in taking over the duties of Cape Town Routes Unlimited. Wesgro is governed by the Wesgro Act, and has three duties according to the Act:
* to attract and retain foreign investment in the Western Cape
* to grow exports
* to increasingly attract business to the city and the province
Wesgro is funded by both the City of Cape Town (R10 million) and the Western Cape government (R18,4 million), the R25 million which Cape Town Routes Unlimited received from the Western Cape government being added to give a total of R53 million, larger than the budget of Cape Town Tourism. The organisation services the province, ultimately reporting to Minister Winde. It also works with the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee member Belinda Walker, doing strategy planning. The organisation’s operations include:
* hosting inward trade missions, at which they try to ‘matchmake’ the visiting delegation members with local businesses via ‘speed dating’
* outward missions travel overseas, promoting trade with the Western Cape, benefiting from sponsorships for flights and other travel costs from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Any Western Cape business is seen to be a ‘member’ of Wesgro, although one does not take out or pay for a membership. The organisation also looks to stimulate the setting up and development of ‘SMME’s’ (small businesses), including entrepreneurs, emerging entrepreneurs, and start-up businesses. They also look to grow sectors of Western Cape businesses, and a number of such sector development agencies have been developed, for IT, Craft and Design, etc. Geographically, Wesgro is concentrating on the ‘West African Trade Corridor’, which includes Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Namibia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The Headquarter for African business should be Cape Town”, Mr Flaatten said. He shared that a trip to Accra the week before had seen distribution agreements signed with 20 companies represented in the trade delegation. It was at this point that Mr Flaatten justified his organisation’s take-over of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, saying that Wesgro already has links to the chambers of commerce and influential players in these West African countries, so in the same way they can engage with the leading tourism players in these countries to attract more West African tourists to Cape Town and the Western Cape. He added that the Northern Hemisphere countries of the UK, the USA, Europe and Japan would only show a 1,5 % growth, labelling them as ‘concentration risk’. Currently most of the Western Cape exports go to the UK, to the Netherlands, and to Germany, in that order. Mr Flaatten also said that 73% of South Africa’s foreign direct investment in Africa comes from Cape Town businesses, mainly being in the financial services, real estate, and hospitality sectors. He added that by 2030 there would be more middle income earners in Africa than in India. He also emphasised the potential of the BRICS countries. Further high growth high income countries are Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates. Inward missions coming to Cape Town are from the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, and they offer marketing services, sales support, and call centre services.
Mr Flaatten gave his views of our tourism industry by saying that it has a number of outspoken characters in it, implying that this would be something he would have to get used to! Wesgro has taken over the 25 Cape Town Routes Unlimited staff, who were in the same building, and will be assimilated into his team, retaining the benefits, and terms and conditions at which they were employed originally. Wesgro will ‘capitalise on the Cape Town Routes Unlimited’ marketing knowledge, Mr Flaatten said, but I was concerned that he could not tell me the name of the most senior marketing executive (we think it is Debbie Damant, not known to most) that he has ‘inherited’, especially given that the marketing of Cape Town Routes Unlimited had been strongly driven by its then CEO Calvyn Gilfellan. The Board of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, now led by ACSA’s Deon Cloete due to the move of its previous Chairman Peter Bacon to Mauritius, will oversee the activities that are in the Cape Town Routes Unlimited Annual Performance Plan, until the organisation with its Board is dissolved when the Western Cape Tourism Act of 2004 is repealed. Similarly, the Wesgro Act must be amended, to allow it to additionally manage destination marketing for the Western Cape.
Mr Flaatten requested the industry to give him a month, so that he can get to know his new staff, and what the capacity requirements are, not wanting to be irresponsible in becoming unnecessarily large. First he must stabilise the staff situation, and then they must focus on planning for the following financial year. They have already hosted a workshop with 100 regional and local tourism bureaus, seeing them as ‘subject matter experts’, and not wishing to duplicate their work, he said. He will also engage with industry representative bodies such as FEDHASA Cape, SATSA, etc, but I left him with a reminder that the tourism industry consists of a large number of small businesses, many not belonging to the big tourism associations, and that their voices should be heard too. Listening to the tourism industry will be the biggest challenge for him currently, Mr Flaatten said. He realises that the ‘Cape Town & Western Cape’ brand is a problem ‘which will not be easy to fix’.
The Board of Directors of Wesgro raises interesting questions. Board members Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, its Board Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Cape Town Partnership, Bulelwa Ngewana, and Board member Guy Lundy, CEO of Accelerate Cape Town and Wesgro Vice Chairman, may prevent duplication of marketing activity between Wesgro and Cape Town Tourism, but ideally should remain independent tourism bodies, so that the industry benefits from the best of both bodies. Ravi Naidoo, organiser of the Design Indaba, is well-known and highly regarded. Interesting too is that Alderman Belinda Walker is on the Board, but does not deal with Tourism matters in the City of Cape Town, which could lead to duplication of tourism management within the City. One could be concerned about two Boards of Directors managing the duties of Wesgro, until Cape Town Routes Unlimited is closed down legally, and about the incestuous duplication of Board members of Wesgro and Cape Town Tourism.
For an organisation that had a number of months warning of taking over Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and that had taken over its operations four days prior to my visit, I was concerned about the general lack of marketing insight, terminology (other than the branding issue), and discussion that I heard from Mr Flaatten during our lengthy interview. He did not mention Cape Town Tourism, and how Wesgro will avoid duplication of marketing activities with the city tourism marketing body. The Wesgro website only shows an amended logo, in that the new duty is incorporated in its descriptor underneath it: ‘The Western Cape Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency’, and contains a block of information to state that it has taken over the duties of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, with a link to the now defunct tourism body’s website! I was concerned about the very business-like Wesgro culture, which does not appear ‘customer friendly’ nor service-orientated in simple requests of setting up a meeting and honouring a parking arrangement, which does not auger well for our tourism industry. The offices are functional but unattractive, not matching the tourism industry image. I was concerned that Mr Flaaten did not seem to know anything about Minister Winde’s EDP, which I thought would reside in Wesgro, and would eventually become the home of most Western Cape industry development bodies, the products and services of which Wesgro appears to market. Mr Flaatten was very responsive in providing the Cape Town Routes Unlimited Annual Performance Plan which they will be working to achieve. The 27 page Plan lists the mission as marketing the Western Cape as a desirable leisure, business and events tourism destination, and its main goal is to ‘position Cape Town and the Western Cape as a premier leisure, events and business tourism destination in Africa’. However, none of the defined goals are measurable. The budget breakdown is disconcerting, with about 50% going to staff salaries, and only 24% going to marketing expenditure. Much of the performance is measured in terms of the number of meetings held, the number of convention bids presented, and the only tourism related measurement targets are the number of international arrivals (1,6 million) and domestic arrivals (3,2 million) for the current financial year, Cape Town Routes Unlimited only expecting to generate 5% of each kind of tourist through its marketing efforts, which begs the question as to why it existed in the first instance!
We will give Wesgro the month that has been requested, and await the way forward for the marketing of the Western Cape with trepidation.
POSTSCRIPT 18/4: In a media release sent out by Wesgro a week ago (but not to contacts on the Cape Town Routes Unlimited media list!), Nils Flaatten said that he would continue to report to the Wesgro Board of Directors, and to the Cape Town Routes Unlimited Board on a quarterly basis about ‘expenditure and performance against predetermined objects’. “Flaatten assured tourism industry stakeholder (sic) that there would be no ‘disruption to the delivery of the tourism destination function in our province'”, the media release added. It also stated that Cape Town Routes Unlimited and Wesgro will continue to occupy their respective offices in their current building, and that the telephone and e-mail details of the Cape Town Routes Unlimited staff ‘will remain in operation until further notice’.
This Tourism Week asked some critical questions about Wesgro’s new role in handling the Tourism marketing responsibility for the Western Cape in its newsletter on 13 April.
Wesgro, Waldorf Arcade, 80 St George’s Mall, Cape Town. Tel (021) 487-8600. www.wesgro.co.za Twitter: @Wesgro
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Sunday 29th January 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Increasingly the tourism industry is seeing information that informs it about its successful performance, but this information does not tie in with actual business experience.
Yesterday on Twitter Guy Lundy, CEO of Accelerate Cape Town and Board member of Cape Town Tourism, created a PR gaffe (accommodation establishments make up a substantial proportion of Cape Town tourism members) by writing disparagingly: ‘So if the airport & Table Mountain had a record December, why are the hotels crying? Because people want bargains & they’re too expensive’. When challenged on his statement, Lundy quoted the record 813000 arrivals at Cape Town International in December, and its best ever year in 2011, and the record Table Mountain Aerial Cableway 142000 ticket sales from mid-December – mid-January, attributing this success as follows: Positive legacy of 2010 World Cup; increased profile & awareness’. Few tourism businesses would agree with Lundy about the tourism benefit of the 2010 World Cup.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa also described its 4th quarter Tourism Business Index of 87 as a ‘marked improvement in business performance for the last quarter of 2011’, correct relative to last year’s 3rd quarter (70), 2nd quarter (74,5), and 1st quarter (79) Index measurements. What the Tourism Business Council media release neglected to point out is that the 4th quarter Index of 2011 is below that of the 4th quarter of 2010, which was at at 89. The improved performance was attributed to the COP17 Climate Change Conference and the better than expected festive season.
The Tourism Business Index is sponsored by FNB, and compiled by Grant Thornton, the tourism consultancy that got the 2010 World Cup tourism estimates so badly wrong. Pieter de Bruin, Head of Industry Sales at FNB, said that the results showed that there are ‘different cycles in business, such is the importance of South Africa being an events destination and having a healthy domestic tourism market. We trust that this may be the first sign of the industry making a turn into positive territory’. Tourism Business Council CEO Mmatšatši Marobe commented: “When we launched the TBI (Tourism Business Index) project in 2010, one of the key objectives was to develop a business tool which would produce relevant information that will assist us to map out a clear picture of general ‘health’ our (sic) industry. At this point the index is showing positive signs of progress; however it also highlights the important role that the domestic and regional markets can play in boosting tourism trade”. The Tourism Business Index is a national measure of current and future performance of the tourism and travel industry, and sub-sectors within the sector. A score of 100 is the norm, reflecting that the tourism industry is still operating below par. The industry has predicted an Index of 82 for the first quarter of 2012.
Durban bragged about its excellent performance over the past two years, claiming to have ‘outperformed other major SA cities’, reports The Mercury, due to the COP 17 Conference, achieving near 100 % occupancy for about a month, and the excellent local visitor numbers over the December school holidays, with hotel occupancy of around 80%, according to the local FEDHASA branch.
FEDHASA Cape Chairman Dirk Elzinga would not admit to a tourism crisis last winter, blaming the poor hospitality performance on the Cape scapegoat of Seasonality. Eventually he had to admit that it was the worst season ever. Elzinga has deplored the cancellation of direct flights to Cape Town by Malaysia Airlines and Etihad Airways, stating that Cape Town’s tourism fortune is reliant on ‘direct access’.
Once again we would like to encourage the tourism authorities to be honest and realistic in reporting tourism successes, and to be correct in defining the summer season being from October, which showed poor performance with November too, and runs until April. The Cape is currently experiencing a ten-day dip, and yesterday’s J&B Met was the poorest ever for the hospitality industry. Very encouraging is the almost fully-booked February, due to the Mining Conference taking place in Cape Town, as well as Valentine’s Day, with a welcome increase in British tourists too.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Sunday 11th December 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Four days ago we called for the establishment of a co-ordinated marketing body representing Cape Town and the Western Cape, given the contradictory articles written in the Cape Times by Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan and City Councillor Tony Ehrenreich. The day after our blogpost appeared provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde announced a surprise move for Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which will see the provincial tourism marketing body incorporated into the provincial investment and trade marketing body Wesgro from April.
Minister Winde said that the new body does not have a name yet, and it is uncertain if its name will change. Cape Town Routes Unlimited will be wound down, and the province’s tourism, trade and investment marketing will be pulled in under one roof, to ‘bring greater efficiency in these strained economic times’, said the Minister’s media release. Minister Winde had previously announced the creation of an Economic Development Agency, a co-ordinated body of about twenty associations marketing various business aspects of the Western Cape. The Agency will provide economic and marketing intelligence, develop an economic vision and strategy, help to attract, retain and build business, create a united brand, and will encourage ‘optimal delivery’ of the new body. What was not revealed previously was that Wesgro is to become ‘the single economic development delivery agency of the Western Cape Government, and its official implementing agency’ from April.
Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten motivated the incorporation of the tourism body into Wesgro as follows: “Through this move, we can combine our financial and personnel resources to drive a far more aggressive international marketing campaign with a unified brand name focused on business and tourism. The creation of tourism marketing within Wesgro will result in greater efficiencies, economies of scale and a complete set of services”. He added that data collection will guide the organisation’s understanding of the world economy, and will guide ‘action plans and delivery’. Gilfellan assured the industry that it can expect ‘even better tourism destination marketing programmes and support’, an unfortunate overstatement of the industry’s trust in and support of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which demise will not be missed.
A task team representing both Wesgro and Cape Town Routes Unlimited is working on the incorporation, and on repealing the Western Cape Tourism Act of 2004, which dictated the setting up of the Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO), which later became Cape Town Routes Unlimited. The Western Cape Trade and Investment Agency Law Amendment Act of 2005 is to be expanded, to incorporate the function of tourism marketing.
Minister Winde said about the role of tourism in the Western Cape that ‘it is seen as the ugly stepsister when in fact it has the potential to be the Cinderella of our economy. Tourism accounts for 10% of this province’s GDP, making it a very serious business. This move will allow us to give this industry the attention it deserves’.
Minister Winde would not commit to the incorporation of Cape Town Tourism into the new provincial marketing body, stating that he can only make decisions at a provincial level. The real wasteful and duplicated marketing expenditure occurs between Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and it is this duplication and resultant cost that should be prioritised before Cape Town Routes Unlimited is incorporated into Wesgro. Given that both the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape province are run by the DA, one would think that this would be a relatively easy amalgamation to achieve!
Nils Flaatten was appointed CEO of Wesgro earlier this month, having been its Acting CEO since June 2010. He has been a Rotary Exchange student, studied at the University of Stellenbosch, worked in London for Dresdner RCM Global Investors, in Jersey for Barclays Global Investors, in Hong Kong for Citigroup, in London for the Capital Markets Company, was an advisor for the provincial Minister for Development, Economics and Planning, and was the MD of the African Carbon Trust. Ironically Cape Town Tourism’s CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold sits on the Wesgro Board, with Accelerate Cape Town CEO Guy Lundy (who is closely allied to Cape Town Tourism), and Bulelwa Ngwana, the MD of the Cape Town Partnership, all three also serving on the Cape Town Tourism Board, and others. It will be interesting to see how Cape Town Tourism’s Mrs Helmbold reacts to the incorporation of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, but she will be out of action until the incorporation takes place, being on maternity leave.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Tuesday 18th October 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Last night Cape Town Tourism held its AGM with a record attendance of more than 650 members as well as Twitter-invited guests, the interest being high due to the eagerly awaited advertising campaign the industry was promised. It was a very fast presentation of the campaign highlights, but not an actual campaign, and received mixed reaction.
Mayor Patricia de Lille set the scene, motivating the campaign by saying that the double dip recession means that new tourism markets must be found, and that we must change how we do business, and which business we attract to Cape Town. We must draw people to work and live in Cape Town, and not just to visit as tourists. She said that the campaign speaks to our needs, is simple, changeable, gives the city new energy, and repositions it. Chairman of the Board and head of ACSA in Cape Town, Ian Bartes, confirmed the world economic crisis, and that it has impacted negatively on long haul travel, meaning that Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism must be redefined. He said that the company has to be made ‘future-fit’, a term used a number of times, and therefore duplication was reduced, the company was restructured, efficiency was increased, and overheads reduced, to drive Cape Town to be the top city in Africa by 2020. Cape Town must be positioned as the city to visit, to live in, to do business in, and to study in. Board member Claus Tworeck presented the financial statements, and stated that tourism is not for ‘sissies’. His figures showed that Cape Town Tourism has received a grant from the City of Cape Town of R40 million for the current financial year, and is aiming to make another R6 million in self-generated income. R18 million is going to salaries (i.e. R1,5 million per month, an extraordinary high salary bill), with R27 million remaining for ‘other operating expenses’, the marketing budget not being split out of this figure. The Discovery/National Geographic campaign is known to cost Cape Town Tourism R8 million, and a figure of R3 million was mentioned by an advertising agency executive for the budget for the advertising campaign, a figure which seems minimal, and would only buy domestic coverage, as a ‘feel-good’ campaign for Capetonians, it was suggested! Interesting was the mention by Cape Town Tourism legal advisor Mike Evans of Webber Wentzel, who mentioned financial ‘wrong-doing’ by the organisation’s previous Financial Manager (and Deputy CEO), and that Cape Town Routes Unlimited will close down, and therefore one of the resolutions called for the future exclusion of an ex officio representative of the tourism body, initially planned to allow communication between the two bodies, and to be replaced with a representative of the City of Cape Town, being its major funder. It was interesting to note that not one question was allowed during the two and a half hour presentation, not quite how an AGM should be run!
Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold took us through old territory, already covered in its Brand Cape Town and the ‘Strategic Plan’ presentations, justifying its new focus on ‘urban travellers’, making up more than 70 % of tourists, she said. She said there is not enough knowledge about Cape Town, and perceptions about its expense and poor winter weather need to be changed. The goal is to get back to tourism figures of 2007, and to regain 10% of South African visitors in Cape Town by 2016. The new VMMS booking system via Nightsbridge is up and running for small accommodation establishments. A new tiered membership scheme is to be introduced, to attract more businesses as members. She spoke about the joint Discovery/National Geographic campaign with Durban, Johannesburg and SA Tourism, negotiated by its Australian consultant Ian Macfarlane, as if it has been approved, but my call yesterday to Durban Tourism demonstrated that this campaign is far from certain and approved, at least as far as the other areas are concerned. If run, it would include print articles too, as well as a Discovery-funded film school, teaching young talent about film-making, and using the footage generated for Cape Town Tourism and on Discovery. A ‘My Cape Town’ campaign was run to instill pride in locals about their city. Mrs Helmbold announced that a new Cape Town clothing range is to be launched, as well as a Cape Town City Card. A joint Cape Town media and guest relations programme is to be launched with SA Tourism and SAA.
Getting to the advertising campaign, Mrs Helmbold said that it should stimulate demand, disperse visitors across the city, and increase their spend while they are on holiday. The campaign must move away from the stale representation of Cape Town, to one that showcases the real depth of Cape Town, against the backdrop of our ‘home’. The campaign will be launched at World Travel Market in London on 7 November, and Cape Town Tourism will look to partnering with international airlines, to offer packages. Short city-break packages will be offered, and an (unreadable) Events year-round calendar was flashed on the screen. Historic sites, including the fan walk, will be linked via walks. The number of Visitor Centres will be reduced down from 18 currently, to a ‘handful’, representing 50 % of the budget. The essence of Cape Town is ‘the unexpected city’, no longer focusing on our city’s natural beauty, and that it is the gateway to more beauty in the areas surrounding Cape Town. Ogilvy Cape Town was challenged to not produce traditional advertising and boring travelogues. At the core of the campaign is that ‘Cape Town is the urban tonic to put life back into your life’. Visiting Cape Town will create a number of benefits, incorporated in the campaign:
* ‘Cape Town: I was here for five star menus and I left with a secret recipe’
* ‘Cape Town: I was here to play and I found a place to work’
* ‘Cape Town: You go there for beautiful landscapes, and you find beautiful people’
* ‘Cape Town: I wanted to change Cape Town, but it changed me’
The campaign was described as cheeky, presenting the warmth of its people, representing its proximity, authenticity and intimacy, and highlighting that Cape Town is a city of mind and being. The pay-off line ‘You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town’ is extended into a business application: “You don’t need a conference, you need Cape Town”.
The campaign was presented in a rush, in an audio-visual, with print ads, bus shelter advertising, and more shown. No mention was made of the campaign budget, the target market, and the cities/countries in which it would be run. As we left the Cape Town International Convention Centre venue, we were handed a yellow envelope, which contained a Campaign Strategy diagram. In the media release, Mrs Helmbold is quoted as follows: “The marketing campaign is about more than just attracting tourists. It’s about incorporating business and investment, the creative and innovation sectors and academia into one vision and direction: economic growth , job creation and inclusion to the benefit of all citizens”. In 2008 Cape Town Tourism was tasked by the City of Cape Town to lead a brand positioning process, focusing on that which makes the city unique. Industry workshops were held, and the Cape Film Commission, Accelerate Cape Town, and the Economic Development Programme were involved, to create a city brand for the residents of Cape Town, as well as its tourists, businesses and students.
None of the persons I spoke to after the presentation raved about the campaign. They seemed luke warm, some stating that too much information about the campaign was thrown at the audience in too short a time. One design specialist could not believe that the campaign was nothing more than an ‘old-fashioned’ print campaign, and he missed the new media connection to it, which should have been the foundation, in his opinion. It was uncertain whether there would be TV advertising, as we were not shown a TV commercial. An ad man, whose agency had been involved in the pitch for the account, said it was nothing more than a ‘feel-good’ campaign for Capetonians, and he seemed a little angry that agencies had been asked to pitch for the account, when it was probably just a tactic to give Cape Town Tourism’s ad agency a shake.
The campaign will make Capetonians even more smug and proud to be living in this beautiful city. Whether it will make more tourists, businesspersons, students and new residents come to Cape Town to visit and to live here remains to be seen. Our counter to the campaign: You don’t need an Advertising Campaign, you need Cape Town!
Read the full speech by Mrs Helmbold here.
POSTSCRIPT 18/10: The Cape Times headline today about the Cape Town Tourism campaign, “When a holiday isn’t just a trip, but tripping on Cape Town”, could easily be interpreted to mean something that probably wasn’t intended, and would not be good for the image of the city. Oddly, the article quotes the Cape Town Tourism PRO Skye Grove as saying ‘that the cost of the campaign has not been determined, but that the body’s annual budget would be aligned to it’. No ad agency would design a campaign without a budget for it, and therefore one wonders why Cape Town Tourism is not divulging this information. We have written to Mrs Helmbold, asking her for the budget, and to confirm the information about the Discovery/National Geographic campaign budget approval, but we have not yet received a reply from her.
POSTSCRIPT 11/11: I came across this You Tube video ‘interview’ by Cape Town Tourism Communications Manager Skye Grove with her boss Velma Corcoran, the Marketing Manager of the tourism body, at World Travel Market in London over the weekend. The interview does not give one a feeling of Mrs Corcoran’s ability to market the city, the interview reflecting her lack of confidence and initiative, not making much eye contact with Ms Grove during the interview. By contrast, a similar interview conducted by Ms Grove with Mary Tebje, Cape Town Tourism’s international media representative in the UK, was far more impressive. Ms Tebje exudes confidence and sounds very knowledgeable about the UK market, and what it expects from Cape Town as a tourist destination.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Saturday 20th November 2010 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Three directors of Cape Town Tourism and heads of important Cape Town business tourism businesses have joined forces to make a plea for how “cool” Cape Town is in the winter months, a period typically plagued by seasonality, with far reduced accommodation bookings, which has an impact on all sectors of the tourism industry.
In an article in the Cape Times last week, Guy Lundy of Accelerate, Ian Bartes of Cape Town International airport, and Rashid Toefy of the Cape Town International Convention Centre wrote that of all South African cities, Cape Town is unique in its seasonality, which “makes it hard for the hospitality industry to be sustainable”. They add: “With 18 five-star hotels now operating in the city, we must find ways to increase visitor numbers during winter.” The tourism leaders says it is not a surprise that Cape Town sees so many restaurants opening and then closing, in that they build restaurants to meet capacity support in summer, but cannot see this through in the winter months when business falls away. They also state that the number of passenger arrivals in April and May is half of that in December and January.
They blame this on the positioning and marketing of Cape Town as mainly a leisure destination, which “always seem to feature the Waterfront, Clifton and the Winelands on their covers”, with not enough promotion of the city as an investment and business destination. Conference facilities, factories and office blocks do not feature in the city’s marketing collateral. They call for more direct international flights to Cape Town, and more flights between the city and other African cities, to make Cape Town a world business destination, and a global African city, given that it already has a world class airport, good hotels, excellent infrastructure, ‘some of the finest restaurants’, natural beauty, entertainment, world-class technology, sophisticated business networks, and a favourable time zone for doing business with the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
To make Cape Town a global business destination, it needs to be considered for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (the M.I.C.E. market). The Convention Centre is ranked 34th in the world in size of business, and it plans to double its capacity to reach its goal of making the top ten list. Winter is an ideal time for conferences, the writers say, in that most activities take place indoors. Whilst conference delegates spend less time in a city on average, their average spend is higher than that of a leisure tourist. The writers also state that the businesses of the Western Cape, e.g. food and wine, oil and gas, boat-building and ship repair, design, film, technology, renewable energy, asset management, business process outsourcing and medical research should expose their businesses to overseas markets via exhibitions and conferences, to attract business travellers to Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape, including Winelands, West Coast and Overberg towns.
The World Cup demonstrated what a good winter weather city Cape Town can be, with rain on only three of the match days, and snowfalls on the mountains for a short while during the soccer tournament month. The soccer fans were not put off by the rain and cold, and their ‘gees’ was not dampened in any way. This leads to a renewed call for the ‘green season’ to be marketed in the winter months. The cooler Cape weather is attractive to visitors from the Middle East, and the Asian countries, who have to endure hot and humid weather at that time. The writers also suggest a winter sale, which reduces accommodation, restaurants, and clothing, as is done in Paris, Singapore and New York. The writers seem unaware that the small accommodation industry has been leading the tourism sector for years, in reducing its rates by as much as half in winter. This year the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands also came to the party, and offered good winter specials, some even extending these into current summer specials.
We support the writers’ call for more events to be hosted to attract visitors, but it is sad to read that the City of Cape Town does not have enough funding to support big events (there is activity by Cape Town Routes Unlimited in marketing a small number of approved events, all hosted in summer months).
If Cape Town had no seasonality, airlines would fly into the city all year round, and would bring travellers, making tourism business more viable and reducing unemployment. It is for this reason that the business tourism leaders ask that the tourism industry get on board the Cape of Good Business!
It is interesting that the three writers are Board members of Cape Town Tourism, which focuses almost exclusively on leisure tourism, while the business tourism business that they are pleading for is in the domain of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, on which Board only ACSA is represented, and on which the three tourism leaders may have been able to make a greater contribution than at Cape Town Tourism.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Saturday 9th October 2010 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Cape Town Tourism sees one of its goals as developing Cape Town into a world city by 2020. This was announced at the Cape Town Tourism AGM by its CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold earlier this week.
Du Toit-Helmbold sees Cape Town developing into a top world city in 2020 in which to “live, visit, study, work and invest in”, and into a centre of innovation and creativity, welcoming 4 million international visitors annually. It will become a favourite domestic destination too, and will be known as the ‘events capital of Africa’, she said. “The city is clean, green and safe – recognised as one of the most livable cities in the world” in 2020, she added.
We welcome her vision that by 2020 “Cape Town now sustains a healthy year-round tourism industry with many direct flights from key markets across the world”, especially as she mentioned that feedback from Cape Town Tourism members shows that “…some establishments reporting alarmingly low occupancy levels” since the World Cup. Also, she indicated that there was no clear picture yet about the festive season bookings, and reiterated how important it is to address seasonality variations, the winter months being a severe problem. Events are an important means of countering seasonality, and she announced that with its funder, the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism is working on an Events Strategy for the city, linking already established events with new ones held in “off-peak” season.
Du Toit-Helmbold also said that world cities such as Cape Town, and its tourism brands, must work on their “future fit”, in exploring new markets, and in investing in web, emarketing and technology to ensure that Cape Town Tourism can meet its goal of doubling its economic impact on the city in the next 10 years. She said that more than 70 % of tourism bookings are made on-line.
On the topic of the suggested amalgamation of Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which Cape Town Tourism is respectfully resisting, a guest speaker Claes Bjerkne, a destination marketing expert, said that Cape Town is the “ideal master brand as it is one of the better known cities of the world’, on a par with Paris, London, San Francisco and Beijing. Du Toit-Helmbold said that Cape Town Tourism was seeking an apolitical tourism structure for the province and the city, “driven by the private sector and supported by government”. “Cape Town Tourism will not compromise our status as an industry-led association, and we remain committed to marketing Cape Town and its unique experience”, she concluded.
At the AGM, new directors were elected/re-elected: quantity surveyor Pierre du Plessis (we question his tourism knowledge), Susanne Faussner-Ringer (who pushed for MATCH bookings for the World Cup with her friend Nils Heckscher, which should have got both of them fired from the Board of Cape Town Tourism for their irresponsible advice to and pressure on the accommodation industry, in our opinion), Bulelwa Nobuzwe Makalima-Ngewana (Deputy CEO of the Cape Town Partnership), Sarah Struys (Events and Marketing Manager of Kirstenbosch), and Claus Tworeck (CEO of City Sightseeing Cape Town). They join existing directors Sabine Lehmann of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, Nils Heckscher of the Winchester Mansions Hotel, Guy Lundy of Accelerate Cape Town, and Rashid Toefy, of the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
POSTSCRIPT 10/10 : Southern African Tourism Update provides extra input to the Cape Town Tourism AGM, the future of brand Cape Town, and of the funding of Cape Town Tourism, not mentioned in the Cape Town Tourism media release:
“Keynote speaker, Claes Bjerkne, CEO of Bjerkne & Co, a Swedish destination marketing consultancy, said the city and province should work together to develop a tourism strategy, “but it’s a waste of time not to use the strong city brand”. He suggested: “Let Cape Town be the driving force in the process of developing tourism in the city as well as the province.” He proposed local tourism marketers combine brand Cape Town with topics of interest – such as wine, whales, flowers, culture, golf and wildlife – to entice visitors further into the region.
Pointing out that few people knew the provinces that housed such strong city brands as Berlin, San Francisco, Paris, Beijing, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and London, he said similarly visitors to South Africa didn’t know its various regions but recognised brand Cape Town. This did not mean they would not travel further into the province to pursue their interests. The same was true overseas, he said, where tourists combined San Francisco with the Nappa Valley to taste wine, travelled to the Great Wall of China from Beijing, or left Edinburgh behind to play golf at St Andrews.
CTT CEO, MariÃ«tte du Toit-Helmbold, also made a strong case for Cape Town to be the brand for the city and the province and for tourism marketing to remain driven by the tourism industry and not by civil servants. “We will not compromise on the industry playing the leading role,” she said. “Cities are the super-brands of the future. Cape Town has all the potential to become this.”
Cape Town City Council Mayoral Committee for Economic Development & Tourism, Felicity Purchase, expressed continued confidence in CTT as the city’s marketer. The city will fund CTT to the tune of R38m for the next financial year.”
POSTSCRIPT 12/10: We have amended our blog post after receiving feedback from Cape Town Tourism. A future vision for Cape Town for 2020 was oddly written in the present rather than in the future tense in the media release.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Wednesday 7th July 2010 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
A media conference called by Dr Laurine Platzky, Western Cape Deputy Director-General Governance & Integration and 2010 FIFA World Cup Co-ordinator, and the World Future Society of South Africa, on Monday highlighted the way forward for South Africa in the next twenty years. The positive ethos and energy generated by the World Cup will stand South Africa in good stead to maintain its level of excellence into the future, said the speakers.
Mike Lee, Founder of the World Future Society of South Africa, focused on the legacies of the World Cup. The Rainbow Nation-building benefit is an “historic bridge”, connecting South Africans. It is a “moment in our destiny”, and paves the path to our country’s future, he said. He highlighted five priorities for South Africa for the period until 2030 : 1. Improve the country’s ethics and standards 2. An economy growing at 7% per annum, to “meaningfully reduce poverty and unemployment” 3.The education system must be reformed 4. The ecosystem must be rescued 5. The country must undergo an energy revolution, moving away from coal-based energy to renewable and nuclear energy. “The World Cup has renewed our licence to dream”, Lee said.
Dr Platzky focused on the legacy of the World Cup, and this was the infrastructure improvements, she said, Cape Town Stadium having become an iconic asset of the province. She admonished local businesses for not having embraced the event well enough in bidding for the manufacture of memorabilia and clothing, rather than letting the contracts go to the Far East. She said that the construction and hospitality industries had been the biggest winners of the World Cup, and stated that South Africa had been cushioned from the worst ravages of the recession because of hosting the World Cup. The event has also led to “social cohesion”, creating an exceptional memory for school children, who will remember the event for their rest of their lifetime, and who also had the opportunity to learn about 31 other participating countries in their school projects, and also about other cities and towns in South Africa. The legacy of the World Cup is also environmental, she said, with 41 “Green Goal” projects focusing on the long-term sustainability environmentally. These projects will be taken to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup as well. She also mentioned that South Africans should proudly take recognition for their achievements in hosting the World Cup so successfully, rather than sitting back for the international media to tell us so.
Guy Lundy is the CEO of Accelerate Cape Town, and his first observation was the good winter weather during the World Cup â€“ 5 sunny days and only 3 rainy days on match days – proving that Cape Town should not have tourism seasonality. He also felt that ex-South Africans should no longer have to be apologetic about their country of origin, and should be proudly calling themselves “South Africans living abroad”. He predicted an increase in wine sales due to the World Cup, and Cape Town’s marketability as a skills outsourcing centre. He predicted that the World Cup would improve Cape Town’s chances of winning the 2014 World Design Capital bid. The World Cup must lead to greater job creation, he said, and South Africans must become more positive, in not always waiting for the next disaster. He said the country had an enormous potential to improve due to the World Cup.
Merle O’Brien is the Deputy President of the World Future Society, and spoke about the World Cup “gees” creating “social cohesion”, in making a collective “we” nation and society of South Africans. The ethos of South Africans now would be Ubuntu and Ke Nako, the human spirit that will connect locals that are no longer commercially-driven but rather spirit-driven.
In question time, Dr Platzky was challenged about the duplicity of market research which is currently taking place in Cape Town (the Western Cape Province, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, the City of Cape Town, and Cape Town Tourism), all conducting unprofessional informal research and using these results to make media announcements on the basis thereof. She agreed that the 50 interviews done by her department at the airport last week “was a bit of a joke” (even though the “9/10 rating” became the lead front-page story of the Cape Times). She confirmed that professional research would be conducted to establish the benefits of the World Cup for Cape Town and the Western Cape.
More details about the World Future Society of South Africa can be found at www.wfs-sa.com.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
Thursday 15th October 2009 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Cape Town is facing strong tourism competition, and will have to set itself far tougher tourism challenges and to market itself more creatively to be able to meet this competitive challenge, said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold at the tourism member association AGM earlier this week, reports Southern African Tourism Update.
Innovative marketing, and strong e-marketing and e-commerce platforms are vital to ensure that Cape Town remains an attractive tourist destination, she said.
Cape Town Tourism’s new leadership vision for Cape Town for 2020 is to :
” * be recognised as one of the top cities in the world to live, visit, study and invest in
* double its tourism income
* use the Fifa World Cup as a springboard to create an economic legacy and unite Capetonians
* to solve its seasonality problems.”
Marketing investment in public/private partnerships, joint marketing and technology and the Internet are vital, she added
Cape Town Tourism’s four priorities are the following:
“1) To host a successful Fifa World Cup in 2010: CTT’s actions were aimed at inspiring confidence that Cape Town was ready for the event; excite its citizens with a series of â€˜Cape Town: Live it, Love it, Louder!’ campaigns; and inspire ownership of the event. With this in mind, CTT had already launched a Citizens Activation Campaign and a dedicated 2010 website.
2) To realise the long-term promotional legacy of the World Cup: In this regard, CTT developed a dedicated 2010 marketing master plan. Most resources would be spent on in-destination and local marketing initiatives, while focusing on PR and media management in key source markets. A new customer-focused website (www.capetown.travel
) and a dedicated 2010 mini website were launched. A Facebook fan page for Cape Town signed up 44 000 members in less than a month from all over the world. CTT also got permission from Fifa for a Cape Town Soccer Brand logo.
3) To position Cape Town as a year-round destination: CTT developed a Cape Town 365 strategy to address seasonality, focusing on events and business tourism.
4) Cape Town at large: This strategy aimed at unlocking the unexplored corners of greater Cape Town to spread the benefits of tourism. CTT, the industry and communities were collaborating to produce a series of new maps, mini guides and information for the website.”
At the AGM the Chairman of Cape Town Tourism, Ian Bartes, raised the issue of the financial independence of Cape Town Tourism, and stated that privatisation could be one way in which the association’s income could be increased, ensuring a reduced dependence on public funding. The association aims to increase its income from R44 million in 2009 to R66 million by 2013, with a ratio of public to non-public funding of 60:40. The City of Cape Town’s allocation to the association for the year ending June was R36 million, while Cape Town Tourism itself generated R7 million, less than budgeted. Cape Town Tourism plans to increase its self-generated revenue to R9 million, and expects the City to increase its allocation to R39 million.
He said the association’s focus in 2009/10 would be on addressing seasonality in particular:
“* a commercial business development strategy focusing on retail, use of technology to upgrade the visitor services network, and expansion of a patron partnership programme with the corporate sector.
* Joint marketing agreements with the tourism industry to expand private-sector funding contributions.
* Joint marketing agreements with airlines to stimulate direct travel to Cape Town.
* Greater investment in PR and guest relations.
* Expanding joint marketing plans with Cape Town Routes Unlimited with the focus on 2010, business tourism, major city events, e-business, trade shows and exhibitions.”
Three new board members were elected during the AGM. They are re-elected Chairman Ian Bartes, who is also Manager Service Standards and Quality Assurance at the ACSA (Cape Town). Rashid Toefy, CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, and Guy Lundy, CEO of Accelerate Cape Town.
Tuesday 25th August 2009 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
With just over nine months to go before the 2010 World Cup, the marketing for Cape Town and the Western Cape appears to have become close to invisible.
About a year ago Cape Town Tourism was given the mandate by its members to accept the City of Cape Town’s directive to manage the marketing of Cape Town, a job previously done by Cape Town Routes Unlimited. A Marketing Strategy was to have been prepared by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, the bubbly Cape Town Tourism CEO, and she spent many hours obtaining input from members of the tourism industry to develop such a strategy, and a positioning for Cape Town. She was a prolific writer and sent out numerous media releases. The last release sent out by Cape Town Tourism, however, was over a month ago, on 21 July.
Cape Town Tourism has added a 2010 World Cup page to its website, and it is printing two issues of its Visitor’s Guide, instead of the usual one issue per year. This appears to be the sum total of its current marketing activity.
At the time of her many brainstorming sessions, Du Toit-Helmbold favoured a positioning for Cape Town as the centre for innovation, design and creativity, but this has not been translated into a pay-off line, and it is not visible in the design of Cape Town Tourism’s website and letterhead. The signature at the bottom of Du Toit-Helmbold’s e-mails has the pay-off line for Cape Town: “Living Cape Town. Loving Cape Town”. The website does not carry this pay-off line at all, but justifies the official Cape Town website www.capetown.travel as follows:” your trusted, impartial guide to Cape Town”. The company started Twittering actively about three months ago, but now is invisible on Twitter.
Cape Town Routes Unlimited is even quieter, and only sends out a weekly Events newsletter to the industry, and irregular CEO newsletters with far too many photographs, mainly of its CEO Calvyn Gilfillan. An industry newsletter which helped inform tourism players has silently disappeared.
The CEO’s of Cape Town Tourism and of Cape Town Routes Unlimited last month met with the new Tourism heads in the City of Cape Town and Western Cape, Felicity Purchase and Alan Winde, respectively. Could Du Toit-Helmbold have been silenced since attending this meeting? The dates appear to coincide.
Interestingly, media reports earlier this year indicated that Cape Town Tourism had been awarded the marketing of Cape Town for another year, instead of referring to a three-year contract having been signed. It intimated that the City had to seek tenders for the marketing, and could not just hand this over to Cape Town Tourism, as had been made public a year ago. No information about a tender process, and the winner thereof, has been made public.
The meeting between Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited would have covered the prevention of duplication in the two marketing bodies’ marketing activities, and collaboration, where possible. No further communication has been received in this regard from either body since the meeting last month.
Guy Lundy, CEO of Accelerate Cape Town, an organisation that connects with businesspersons to attract and stimulate economic growth for Cape Town, has criticised the marketing that is being done for Cape Town, reports the Cape Argus. He too complains that too little marketing is being done, and that which is being done, is wrong, he says. “Branding Cape Town as Africa’s party city for the World Cup should never have happened”, he said. “The World Cup is that one opportunity we have to showcase the city to the world. We don’t want to market ourselves like another Ibiza.” Lundy says that Cape Town has changed its pay-off line from “Africa’s party capital” to “ready to welcome the world”, a line which was used in a few ads run in the local Cape Town newspapers, without much credibility, given that all the major Cape Town roads, its airport, the Cape Town station, and the rapid bus transport system are not yet ready for the 2010 World Cup!
Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com