Even more visitors to jet in this season
AS THE weather heats up, the beaches fill and the tourists flock in, the Western Cape’s economy booms.
Cape Town’s tourism industry generated a total R14.6 billion in 2012, up from R12.4bn in 2009. And predictions from Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde are that this summer will bring even more visitors, both domestic and international.
The spike in tourists during the summer months also helps create jobs, especially for unskilled and semiskilled labourers, among whom unemployment is highest.
An estimated 34 500 permanent and 15 000 temporary jobs were created by the city’s tourism industry in 2012.
“Every 12 tourists that visit the city create one job,” said mayor Patricia de Lille, “adding to the well-being of the city by lifting people out of poverty.”
A total of 1.3 million tourists from all over the world visited last year, said Winde.
Meanwhile, this week Cape Town raised its public profile further when it won two awards in the Send Your Facebook Profile to Cape Town campaign in 2012.
The Facebook app sent people on a virtual tour of the city, both for leisure and adventure fun holiday. During the fourmonth- long campaign, more than 8 000 people played the game around the world. Cape Town won a gold in the social media campaign category and a silver in the branded content category.
Winde said it was vital for everyone to understand the value of the tourism sector to the local economy. “I am calling on every citizen to… make sure that the experience of a tourist is a good one,” he said.
After Cape Town’s Table Mountain was recognised last year as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, a record- breaking 855 000 visitors took the cableway to the summit this year,.
“People travel from all over just to see this iconic sight, and this recognition has only added to its value,” Winde said.
Next year, Cape Town will get another international boost as the official World Design Capital for 2014.
With about 450 projects to showcase around the city, this project is sure to further boost visitor numbers.
The Western Cape government hopes that the tourism industry will account for up to 15 percent of the province’s GDP by 2015.
Every 12 tourists that visit the city create one job, adding to its well-being by lifting people out of poverty
RECOGNITION: Thousands of tourists have flocked to Cape Town since Table Mountain became one of the New7 Wonders of Nature last year.