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The City of Cape Town, already recognised as the Events Capital of Africa, has been nominated to be recognised as the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’ at the 2018 World Travel Awards, set to take place at the Pátio da Galé, in Lisbon, Portugal, on 1 December 2018. The nomination follows the announcement in Durban last week, where Cape Town was named ‘Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination’ at the Africa and Indian Ocean edition of the awards. Cape Town is nominated alongside other leading global event cities including London, Montreal, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Danang (Vietnam) and Guayaquil (Ecuador). Read more below:

Cape Town has become the envy of many global cities as a result of its wide-ranging events portfolio. The city has continually affirmed its place as the events capital of Africa by securing key international and local events over the last five years.

Signature festivals and events hosted in the city include, among others: the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival; the HSBC Rugby Sevens, which generates revenue of about R700 million for the City; the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, which was crowned the Participation Event of the Year (2018); the Volvo Ocean Race, which contributed about R500 million and 35 000 bed nights to the city’s economy in 2017; the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which creates more than 2 000 temporary jobs and attracts in excess of 37 000 music lovers over the 2 show days; and the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Eight of the signature events supported by the City contribute more than R3 billion to the local economy and create more than 20 000 temporary jobs. While some of the jobs related to major events are temporary, they afford people the opportunity to gain experience and acquire skills for permanent employment. This success is thanks to the City of Cape Town’s commitment to building an opportunity city that creates an enabling environment for inclusive economic growth and job creation.

The city is also growing in popularity as a premier business and tech events destination, and was recently ranked the number one city in Africa for business tourism events by the International Congress and Convention Association.

We are delighted with the accolade of once again being affirmed as the Events Capital of Africa, and now have our sights set on becoming the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’. I would like to call on event organisers and residents of Cape Town to vote for the city to be honoured as the world’s top events city. We have delivered on our commitment and we proudly hold a dynamic annual events calendar with established internationally renowned events and many new events coming to our city each year.

Mayco member for Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, said: ‘The 180 events that we have supported and 1 277 permits approved by the City have allowed us to achieve this award. Such results are not achieved through a once-off effort but are a culmination of years of developing events capacity and running a competent events department. The City will continue to work tirelessly to strengthen its position as a premium events destination and I would like to congratulate everyone who worked around the clock to ensure that visitors and event organisers get the best possible services. We will do all we can to improve services, keep on developing a favourable environment for the events industry and open up investment opportunities as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation.’

Events provide enormous benefit to the local economy and play a pivotal role in generating visitor expenditure. It is important for the city that this translates into economic inclusion of all communities in Cape Town. The City could not have done this without the incredible investment from our event organisers.

This is what some of the world’s top event organisers have to say about Cape Town as an events city:

Billy Domingo, Cape Town International Jazz Festival director

‘There are many things that make the Cape Town International Jazz Festival an award-winning, world-famous event, but something that is often overlooked is the crucial supporting infrastructure and communitive ethos of our host city, and the impression Cape Town leaves on global visitors. Africa’s Grandest Gathering was born out of this ethos, and today attracts over 35 000 visitors from South African and aboard. Our visitors not only come to Cape Town to enjoy the exceptional music on offer, but also to explore the beauty of the Mother City and its surroundings. It comes as no surprise that our city is once again being acknowledged as the events capital of the world, a title that is greatly deserved and will continue to contribute to the wonderful attributes that make Cape Town the friendly, exciting and warm place that it is.’

Kevin Vermaak, founder of the Absa Cape Epic

‘The 2018 Cape Epic was the 15th edition of the race, and we are incredibly proud to start the race on the slopes of Table Mountain, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. It provides an iconic South African backdrop for the first day of the Epic. From there, the route will wind 658 km through the beauty of Robertson, Worcester and Wellington, before the finish at the Val de Vie estate in the Paarl-Franschoek valley. The trails of the region have had much to do with the fact the Cape Epic is regarded as the premier mountain bike stage race in the world. We have been called the Tour de France of mountain biking, and have set standards for mountain bike events around the world. The excellence of the trails, the infrastructure and the people who build new routes and maintain them each and every year are the lifeblood of our sport.’

Paul Bellamy, managing director of World RallyCross for IMG

‘We have found the perfect match in Africa to host our final round of the World Championship: Cape Town is a desirable international tourist destination and we’ve had tremendous support from both the City of Cape Town and Killarney International Raceway. The track backdrop of Table Mountain as One of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the heritage, world-class track and facilities at Killarney will be the ideal setting for our World Championship season-closer in Cape Town.’

Janet Welham, organiser of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

‘We are so blessed to call Cape Town our home. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon proudly hosted Africa’s only IAAF GOLD Label status marathon. With the ongoing support of the City, Western Province Athletics, our sponsors and partners and with Cape Town being one of the world’s top tourism destinations, we believe that in time to come the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will become one of the world’s “must run” destination marathons.’

CEO, Jay Douwes, CEO of Cape Town Carnival

‘A spectacular socially transformative event like the Cape Town Carnival relies on receptive and supportive engagement with our host city. Safely accommodating massive crowds in public open space is a credit to our beautiful tourist friendly city and provides an opportunity for locals and tourists to experience and enjoy South African community, culture and creativity.’

Irene Ochem, Founder and CEO, Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)

‘Cape Town is one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations and the number one convention city in Africa. It has a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem with global dimensions, and it is only natural that an organization such as AWIEF would want to position itself to be part of that global community in order to promote its pan-African agenda.’

Sugen Pillay, commercial director for Reed Exhibitions, organisers of Africa Travel Week

‘The feedback from international buyers and attendees is absolutely positive. The buyers are always impressed with what Cape Town has to offer. Many of them haven’t been to the continent before. When they come here they sample the destination, and then the business happens. We bring in new buyers every year. The products have been amazing, the service levels excellent and the hospitality world-class. We do a lot of research before a show. When we started off, over 90% of buyers requested for the show to be in Cape Town. It would be foolish of us to move it to another destination. Every year we ask the same question and get the same response. The city is doing something right to attract these buyers. Cape Town is known as a premier tourism destination globally. The city is the positioning factor for South Africa globally.’

To vote for Cape Town to win the award ‘World’s Leading Festival & Events Destination’, visit the World Travel Awards website:

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