Cape Town Tourism renewed its marketing agreement with NYC and Company, the Big Apple’s tourism board, at a rooftop event in the CBD on Monday August 27.
At the event, it was also announced that the first direct flight from New York to Cape Town is scheduled to arrive on Monday December 16, and that the Cape Town International Airport was undergoing a revamp, including the installation of a new runway and New York branding.
Once completed, the new runway will have the capacity to handle 45 flights an hour, and will save tourists about four hours of travel time.
Other upgrades include a new domestic arrivals section to increase the baggage reclaim area and a new express route for passengers who only have carry-on luggage; and the reconfiguration of the international terminal to expand the area and upgrade security and customs.
The upgrade will cost about
R7 billion and is expected to be complete next year.
The marketing agreement between the tourism boards first started two years ago, and was aimed at sharing media spaces and marketing both cities in each city to boost travel and tourism.
In New York, the attractions of Cape Town are marketed on bus shelters and kiosks and information centres and in Cape Town, New York is advertised at Cape Town Tourism’s information centres and on MyCiTi bus kiosks.
Chief executive officer of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, said the relationship between Cape Town Tourism and New York City had unlocked a huge part of the tourism industry, and had also unlocked the possibility for the direct flight.
“For tourists, it’s all about time and money, and having this flight will allow them to get to Cape Town faster, spend more time and money here, which unlocks more jobs.”
He said the first direct flight between Cape Town and New York was 24 000 inbound passengers, growing travellers from the USA by 20%.
He said the direct route, in its first year of operation, was expected to create about 900 jobs and see a R421 million boost in tourism spend by 2021.
“Looking to how we are planning on marketing our respective destinations, it quickly became apparent that both parties are looking to ensure that tourism activities are done sustainably. The backbone to Cape Town’s popularity as a global tourist destination is the natural splendour we are blessed with, so if we do not develop our tourism industry along sustainable parameters, there will come a day when there is no tourism industry.”
Managing director of tourism market development for NYC and Company, Makiko Matsuda Healy, said so far the successful partnership between the cities presented an opportunity for the partnership to continue.
She said up to now, New York and Cape Town had executed multiple advertising campaigns, and had been sharing best practices in tourism marketing and collaborating on ways to boost travel between the two cities.
“New York City & Company is proud to renew this valuable partnership during what we have been calling a ‘monumental year’ for us. The potential for what this agreement between our organisations could achieve though was quickly recognised and received an extra boost by the announcement of a direct flight service between Cape Town and New York City beginning later this year.”
She said both cities had a lot to offer and were similar in terms of celebrating life and diversity.
The City’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and assets management, James Vos, said tourism contributes almost R15 billion to the local economy, and partnerships like these increase the visibility of Cape Town as a global destination.
“We will continue to build on these successes by working with industries and strategic partners to invest in projects and programmes that will drive demand and make business sense, he said.