Queer Project boosts city economy by R26m
HAILED as the biggest costume party in the country, the Mother City Queer Project ( MCQP) injects a whopping R26 million into the city’s economy.
Most revellers who party the night away at the event held each year in Cape Town earn more than R18 000 a month. And the majority of the party-goers are over 35.
These were among the findings of a study done on the economic impact of the MCQP.
This year’s event, the 18th such party – themed Maid in China – is being held at the Cape Town Convention Centre tonight.
Chris Hattingh completed the two-year study into the 2009 MCQP this year for his Master’s degree in technology and hospitality management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
He found visitors spent R7 500 on the MCQP and related activities, such as accomodation, food, transport, tickets and costumes, while locals spent about R1 800.
Four hundred party-goers were interviewed on the night of that event, themed Toolbox and held on December 19 at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
Altogether 39 businesses also filled in questionnaires.
Hattingh found 40 percent of the 2 240 people who attended the 2009 event were over 35, 33 percent between the ages of 26 and 34, while 27 percent were between 18 and 25.
“It is thus important the demands of people over 35 be met,” Hattingh said in his thesis.
He recommended the ticket price be lowered and said it might be too expensive for students, who fall into the 18 to 25 age group.
In terms of income, Hattingh found 40 percent of MCQP party- goers earned more than R18 000 a month.
Among these, 16 percent earned up to R30 000 a month, 7 percent up to R45 000, 6 percent up to R60 000, 3 percent up to R80 000 a month and 8 percent more than R80 000.
“If the MCQP could attract more of these high- income tourists, the economic impact would increase without the number of party goers increasing.
“Gay couples are said to have higher levels of education and a higher average income than straight couples.”
Hattingh refers to them as DINKS, which stand for Disposable Income, No Kids.
The majority of the 39 businesses interviewed – 46 percent – had a slight increase in income during the MCQP, while 18 percent reported a significant increase in sales.
Businesses that benefited most were bars, nightclubs, escort agencies, accommodation establishments, male spas, restaurants and retail shops.
Thirteen percent of the businesses created between two to five jobs as a result of the MCQP, although most were temporary to coincide with the one-night event.
The majority of attendees, about 70 percent, were from Cape Town, while 11 percent were from Gauteng.
Twelve percent were from foreign countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Most respondents – 47 percent – spent a week in Cape Town, while about 20 percent spent between a week and a month in the city.
Among Hattingh’s recommendations was the party should be extended from a onenight to a week-long festival, perhaps from Christmas to New Year, Cape Town’s busiest period.
“Make the festival long and attractive enough to encourage overnight stays in Cape Town.
“Include activities such as hikes, sports competitions, theatre, art exhibitions and a circuit party.”
Hattingh’s thesis also noted that although Cape Town was a world-class pink destination, its main competitors were Ibiza, Grand Canaria, Mykonos, Barcelona and Sydney.
PARTY TIME: The three members of Ladylicious, previously named La Vuvuzela, are ready to entertain the MCQP crowd tonight. From the left are Samantha Heldsinger, Tarryn Lamb and Tamsin Maker.