Even more visi­tors to jet in this sea­son

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - PAIGE SUTHER­LAND

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.

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