Tag Archives: Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon egg-cellent boost for Western Cape economy!

Old Mutual Two Oceans MarathonThe 45th Two Oceans Marathon will be held on Saturday 4 April, and is synonymous with the Easter weekend in Cape Town.   It is estimated that the event will contribute R266 million or more to the economy of Cape Town and the Western Cape. The marathon is described as the most beautiful in the world, with its route running along the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

In 1970 the Two Oceans Marathon was held for the first time, with only 24 runners. Now the race attracts 27000 runners, about half of them coming from outside the Western Cape.  City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing Continue reading →

Cape Town ‘last minute’ 8 Nations Under 20 Soccer Tournament no compensation for losing out on 2013 Afcon!

Two weeks ago Mayor Patricia de Lille hinted at a ‘high profile’ event that was still under wraps then, that could make up for Cape Town not having been made it as host city for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in January/February next year.  A surprise is that the announcement of an ‘8 Nations Under 20 international Football Challenge 2012’, which will be held in Cape Town from next Friday until 3 June, was only made two days ago!  With such a short lead time, and virtually no information to be found about the event, the soccer tournament is unlikely to be beneficial to tourism in Cape Town, and will not compensate for the failed bid in hosting Afcon next year. The soccer tournament next week is a sad attempt by the City of Cape Town to save face!

We wrote last week that losing the bid to be a host city for Afcon 2013 is a major tourism blow for Cape Town, and is a further disaster created by our City’s Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe, also having cost our city the Heineken Cup final earlier this year.

The City of Cape Town media release, issued yesterday, announces the tournament, organised by the City of Cape Town in conjunction with the Cape Town branch of the South African Football Association (SAFA) with a financial contribution by the Western Cape government, is to be played both at Cape Town Stadium and at Athlone Stadium in eight matches.  Teams from South Africa, Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Japan, Cameroon, and Kenya are participating in the soccer tournament, seen as preparation for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be held in Turkey next year.

According to the release, Cape Town is hosting the ‘renowned bi-annual tournament for the second time, after a successful inauguration tournament in 2010, prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup’.  No reference about the 2010 event could be found via a Google search, making the claim of it being ‘renowned’ untruthful and an overclaim!  Even worse, the release positions the event in the league of the Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Tour and the ‘Old Mutual Town (sic) Oceans marathon’, and says that it helps to achieve its goal of positioning Cape Town as the Events Capital of Africa!  Magnifying its exaggeration, the release states that the soccer tournament will launch the future local and international careers of soccer players. Ivan Meyer, the MEC for Sport and Cultural Affairs in the province, said the the soccer tournament would position Cape Town as a ‘soccer-friendly city’, reports The New Age, ironic given that Councillor Pascoe was argumentative with the SAFA when bidding for host city of Afcon, and so lost the bid!

Interesting is that Cape Town Tourism, funded by the City of Cape Town, has not yet Tweeted about the event, preferring to focus on the floating of the beached Japanese trawler on Clifton’s First Beach yesterday. No media release has been issued by the tourism body either, proving that it does not see the tourism benefit of the soccer tournament!

The City will be using the services of 150 volunteers to run the event. Tickets cost R50 for ‘grand stand’ tickets and R20 for ‘open stand’ seats, and are for sale at Computicket. The match schedule is as follows:

Athlone Stadium

Date Time Fixture
25 May 2012 18:00 South Africa v/s Argentina
20:30 Ghana v/s Nigeria
29 May 2012 18:00 South Africa v/s Nigeria
20:30 Argentina v/s Ghana
30 May 2012 18:00 Brazil v/s Japan
20:30 Cameroon v/s Kenya
1 June 2012 18:00 Semi Final 1
20:30 Semi Final 2

Cape Town Stadium:

Date Time Fixture
26 May 2012 14:00 Kenya v/s Japan
16:30 Brazil v/s Cameroon
27 May 2012 14:00 South Africa v/s Ghana
16:30 Argentina v/s Nigeria
28 May 2012 18:00 Brazil v/s Kenya
20:30 Cameroon v/s Japan
3 June 2012 14:00 3rd v/s 4th
16:30 Final

POSTSCRIPT 23/5: Cape Town Tourism has only written about the soccer tournament on its website today, two days before its start. There is no publicity about this non-event!  The Twitter page (@8Nations) only has 72 followers!

POSTSCRIPT 24/5: The Cape Times has reported that the Fan Walk will be opened for the Final on 3 June.  To date there has been no publicity to encourage locals to participate.  The article also states that the City of Cape Town is paying the South African Football Association R1,5 million as a ‘grant in aid’, while the Western Cape government has ‘in principle committed’ the same amount.

POSTSCRIPT 27/5: The Weekend Argus yesterday billed the effect of the soccer tournament on Cape Town’s hospitality industry as a ‘mid-winter tourist boost’, a dishonest report – Cape Town has never been quieter!  Ivan Meyer, the province’s Minister of Cultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation, who does not handle the tourism portfolio, stated that the tournament would impact on the economy of the province, through ‘ticket sales, accommodation, flights, etc’. Cape Town Chamber of Commerce President Michael Bagraim, known for his media gaffes, reinforced the exaggerated benefit of the tournament: ‘Bagraim added that a major event such as this was similar to the festive season. bringing a great deal of money into the city’!  One wonders why these two personalities, and the Weekend Argus with it, are misleading the tourism industry and the Cape Town public in this report. SAFA Cape Town President Norman Arendse pointed out that the 8 Nations Under-20 soccer challenge should not be seen as a ‘replacement’ for losing out on being an AFCON host city next year.

POSTSCRIPT 27/5: Cape Town Tourism, the city’s tourism marketing body funded by the Councillor Pascoe’s department, has only Tweeted once about the soccer tournament, signalling its lack of tourism interest in the event!

POSTSCRIPT 28/5: We received the following e-mail from Wadia Sinclair, with some valid questions:

“Good day, After reading some of the comments I would like to give version:

This tournament was poorly advertised.

Parking a major problem @ CT Stadium, all parking around the stadium was cordoned off. WHY??????

Why do we have to buy eats inside the stadium at RIDICULOUS prices? I would rather bring my own eats than have all these vendors walking up & down pass me. Is this stadium not for the PEOPLE….

We as a family enjoy soccer but please why all the inconvenience”.

POSTSCRIPT 28/5: The 8 Nations Under 20 soccer tournament ticket sales must be so poor that they are offering a free ticket for every ticket bought for the Semi Final or Final, Councillor Pascoe Tweeted today!

POSTSCRIPT 28/5:  Councillor Pascoe appears to be getting annoyed  about the feedback in this blogpost, making the following statement on Twitter this evening: you don’t have a mandate to speak on behalf of anybody”!

POSTSCRIPT 29/5: The Cape Times reported today that the support of the soccer tournament has been so poor in terms of attendance that Cape Town faces the danger of not hosting the 2014 Eight Nation Under 20 soccer tournament. There is an admission that the free ticket give-away is to attract a greater attendance.


Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

Cape Town hosts ‘the world’s most beautiful marathon’!

As far as Cape Town events go, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is the ‘stepsister’ of higher profile events such as the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and the J&B Met.  Today Cape Town hosts the 43rd Two Oceans Marathon, which carries the proud pay-off line of ‘The world’s most beautiful marathon’, says its website.

The pay-off line describes the picturesque route the 56 km ultra-marathon runners will cover, starting near SA Breweries at Main Road in Newlands, going through Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay, and Constantia Nek, and ending at UCT.  One hopes for the runners that the rain will hold off until they complete the marathon.  The half-marathon of 21 km is run in Constantia.  The Two Oceans Marathon will result in a number of road closures in the Southern Suburbs, including Constantia, Claremont, Newlands, Bishopscourt, and Mowbray.

Interesting is that little information about the economic value of the Two Oceans Marathon could be found via Google, such information usually proudly presented by sponsors and organisers of the other mainstream Cape Town events. A Cape Business News article quoted Calvyn Gilfellan, the former CEO of the now defunct Cape Town Routes Unlimited, in providing the economic value of major Cape events, and the Two Oceans Marathon falls in fifth place, in having generated R80 million for the local economy.  This compares to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival economic impact of R500 million, that of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour of R450 million, the Cape Epic at R200 million, and the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) at R96 million.  The J&B Met and Wacky Wine Weekend in Robertson are far smaller in their economic impact.

The tourism impact of Cape events appears to be reducing, we found this year, with occupancy of Camps Bay guest houses having reduced for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the J&B Met, and the Cape Town International jazz Festival, compared to previous years, indicating that more locals and fewer out-of-town visitors may be participating in these events, and therefore the economic impact figures for this year may be lower than last year.  Odd therefore was to see a lightweight media interview by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold with Eye Witness News (the news service for Kfm), her first media appearance since she took maternity leave in December last year, even though she has not yet officially returned to work.  She states that the Easter weekend will be busy due to the Two Oceans Marathon and the KKNK (in Oudtshoorn), but this is contrary to our experience, with many Camps Bay guest houses not being fully-booked this weekend.  The rain forecast for the next three days would not encourage tourism to the city.  She also referred to ‘other events in the city’ over this weekend, but we are not aware of any event other than the Two Oceans Marathon.  She countered the petrol price increase, and its impact on tourism, saying that ‘we still expect a lot of people to come to Cape Town over the Easter weekend‘, without backing up her claim with quantitative information.  She appears to be very out of touch with the tourism industry due to her long maternity leave break.

We wish the 23000 Two Oceans Marathon runners, and visitors to Cape Town supporting them, a wonderful day in the most beautiful city in the world!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com twitter:@WhaleCottage

Easter Bunny brings egg-cellent weekend to the Cape!

The Easter weekend looks to be a busy one for the hospitality industry, a welcome last burst of business until the dreaded winter lull commences after the weekend.  

Three major events take place this weekend: the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in Cape Town, and the KKNK in Oudtshoorn.   These events are estimated by Cape Town Routes Unlimited to generate R 780 million in income for the Western Cape, reports Southern African Tourism Update.

The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon will be run for the 40th time in Cape Town today, with a 56 km ultra marathon, a 21 km marathon, and 5 km and 2,5 km fun runs creating a choice for the 26 000 participants.

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is in its 11th year, and its economic benefit is estimated at close to R 600 million.   The star of the Festival will be George Benson, who performs at the Kippies venue at the Cape Town International Convention Centre tonight.  His show will be a tribute to Nat King Cole.  Judith Sephuma, Toots Thieleman, Jason Moran, La Melodia, Jonathan Butler, TKZee, MiKaNiC, Regina Carter, Melanie Scholtz, and Bilal are some of the 40 artists and bands performing today and tomorrow.  Billed as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” and rated as the fourth best jazz event in the world, the Jazz Festival is expected to draw 32 000 jazz fans over the two days.

The KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees) runs until 8 April, and is a feast of mainly Afrikaans music and theatre.  Experimental plays usually are first performed in Oudtshoorn.  Award-winning ‘Die Naaimasjien’, with actress Sandra Prinsloo, will be the highlight.   Musically, David Kramer will entertain with ‘David Kramer se Kaapse Breyani’.  Other musical stars include Elsabe Zietsman, Amanda Strydom, Karen Zoid, Coenie de Villiers, Chris Chameleon, Koos Kombuis, classical guitarist James Grace, and the inimitable Nataniel.

March was a bad month for business, severely down on previous years, and it is evident that hospitality businesses are concerned about the winter ahead, given the impact that punitive increases in petrol, electricity, municipal rates and other municipal charges will have on consumers.  The only counter to these cost increases is the decrease in interest rates by 0,5 percentage points, reducing the costs of car and bond repayments.    A number of restaurants may not survive the quiet period ahead, and the reduced bookings for the World Cup may not bolster their earnings enough for them to survive the winter.

Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, said as follows:”The industry went through a rough patch over the last 18 months because of the global economic recession.   It is therefore very reassuring to know that our destination plays host to events of this calibre.  They certainly support the Western Cape Government’s objective of growth, job creation and poverty reduction and will help to build a long-term, sustainable tourism industry”.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com