Whilst it is good news that the Western Cape province and the City of Cape Town have workshopped the perennial Winter Seasonality problem in Cape Town and the Western Cape with industry players, one wonders if once again it is too little too late, discussing Seasonality at the tail end of Winter! The outcome of the workshop has been a promise that all stakeholders ‘have committed to working together to address the negative impact that Seasonality has on the industry’, a Cape Town Tourism media release states!
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said at the workshop: ‘We live in a global village and if we want to be a world-class city then we need to stop being complacent and only enjoying the benefits of tourism in our summer months. If we can re-position Cape Town as an all-year destination by leveraging Events and Business tourism, our incoming flight numbers, income generated from the tourism industry and jobs in tourism will improve significantly’.
At the workshop it was agreed that a ‘collective strategy and framework involving all parties in the tourism field‘ is to be developed, sounding theoretical, and implying that Seasonality in 2016 might benefit from such a strategy, it being far too late for any remedial measures for the current winter, which is biting the local tourism industry badly!
One’s heart sinks when one reads the blah-blah in the new Cape Town Tourism’s PR company’s media statement, not making any sense: ‘Broad agreement was reached on the need for the city to examine its positioning with respect to a clear and authentic narrative that is reflective of our diversity as well as markets currently being targeted, in other words, we need to flip the script to depict lesser known narratives about the city. This is in addition to promoting existing icons and world renowned destination attributes. It was further agreed to bring about an integrated events calendar for all stakeholders as well to focus on growing organic world-class events with multiple touch points across business and leisure tourism‘.
Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said: ‘Tourism is the biggest engine room in our economy, contributing R17 billion each year, and over 200 000 jobs. We need to rev it up by using data and technology better than we do today. I am confident that by working together, and by leveraging events to draw visitors to the region, we can become a 365 destination’.
Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy added: ‘The strategies and defined goals agreed today must now be implemented through defined roles and responsibilities. Cape Town Tourism looks forward to driving this process together with our industry partners and government‘.
It is disheartening to read the same old words every year, the tourism bodies in Cape Town and the Western Cape making the same old promises year on year, but then nothing changes. As we wrote earlier this week, the City of Cape Town has been completely Events-driven in its marketing strategy, if one can call it that, and has had a special love for soccer as its panacea for Cape Town’s Seasonality sickness! Last week’s Cape Town Cup was a phenominal football flop, and cost the Executive Director of the City of Cape Town’s Directorate of Tourism Events, and Marketing Anton Groenewald his job, just at the time when this workshop about Seasonality took place! We have no optimism that anything constructive will come out of the Seasonality Workshop!