Last night I attended the reopening event of The Crypt Jazz Club, located below St George’s Cathedral on Wale Street in Cape Town. It is the only live jazz venue in the city centre, and is a manifestation of Cape Town’s reputation as a Jazz City, through its home-grown jazz talent and its annual Cape Town Jazz Festival. Continue reading →
Following the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last week, the Western Cape province has announced that a 15 year plan is being prepared to target the $600 billion international sports tourism market, the Sunday Argus reports. A national steering committee to develop a sport events strategy has been created, and will evaluate developing an events fund.
Formed at the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, the steering committee’s mandate will be to identify and stage events ”that are aligned to the strategic objectives of the country”, says Sugen Pillay, SA Tourism Global Manager of Events, quotes Southern African Tourism Update. The aim of the steering committee is to grow sports tourism in South Africa, and to capitalise on the investment made for the World Cup.
Led by Deputy Director General of the Premier’s office, Dr Laurine Platsky, the Western Cape long-term plan, which will cover events, including sport, should be ready by 31 August. “It will cover our Cape ‘treasures’ and give a long-term approach to the existing big events like the Cape Town Jazz Festival, the Two Oceans and the Volvo Ocean Race”, she said. Smaller events will also be developed. The ultimate utilisation of the city’s facilities, particularly the Cape Town Stadium, will form part of the plan: “We have a new iconic facility – the Cape Town Stadium – which is the jewel in our crown of facilities and is to be marketed globally”.
The City of Cape Town has a Department of Sport, Recreation and Amenities, and its director, Gert Bam, is working on a Sports Event Impact Model, to evaluate the economic, social and sports impact of major events. It will also measure the impact of events on the Cape Town economy. Sport mega-events can play an important role ‘in promoting economic and developmental agendas’. South Africa has world-class sport venues, excellent infrastructure, and a population passionate about sport, as well as a good track record in hosting cricket, soccer and rugby World Cup events, making it eligible to bid for more sport events. It is said that 10 % of international tourists come to the country to participate in or watch a sport event.
Addressing the Exchange, Soccer World Cup Local Organising Committee head Danny Jordaan apologised to the host cities that built soccer stadia for the World Cup, and admitted that ‘not enough thought had done into their planning to ensure they would be financially viable’, reports The New Age. R13 billion was spent on new stadia for the World Cup, and many of these have become ‘white elephants’! He cautioned the attendees at the Exchange to not be ‘too hasty in bidding for the Olympics’ or for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, ironic given that he and his Local Organising Committee bid and executed the soccer World Cup. Jordaan said the Exchange should have taken place ten years ago, so that planning for sports bids could have been more efficient and realistic. He said the industry should act quickly to bid for big events, and not wait another 30 years for a big event.
Potential sports events planned for the country are SportAccord International Convention, Taekwondo World Championships, a Powerboating World Series, and Cape Town is bidding for the World Games 2017.
The Cape tourism industry would welcome all events that increase bookings for accommodation, restaurants, tours, and lead to sales of local products and services. A definite linkage has been seen that business is better when events take place.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage