TOURISM: Let's Now Target China
Recent Western Cape Business News
Shifting its focus to China as a high potential tourism market following the 2010 World Cup, makes perfect sense for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Not only is China one of the fastest growing global outbound travel markets in the world, but Chinese visitor numbers to the city and province have rocketed.
Chinese travel (including Hong Kong) to Cape Town and the Western Cape during the first quarter of this year was up an enormous 81.7% from the same period last year, with 10 405 tourists arriving from January to March 2010. In 2009, Cape Town and the Western Cape was visited by 29 009 Chinese tourists – an impressive 40% increase from 2008.
This is one of the reasons why Western Cape tourism authorities and municipalities have decided to coordinate a series of Tourism Trade Training Workshops on Asian markets for Western Cape travel trade over the last two weeks. The workshops, held in Cape Town (6 December 2010), the Cape Winelands (3 December 2010) and Cape Garden Route & Klein Karoo (22 November 2010), are presented by Bradley Brouwer, Regional Manager: Asia Pacific of South African Tourism, who has expert knowledge on how to do business in these emerging markets.
“Cape Town and the Western Cape’s popularity as a travel destination continues to grow in the Far East. It is specifically the region’s iconic attractions, scenic beauty and history that the Asian travellers love. Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU), tourism destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, has made incredible inroads in Asia over the last couple of years. These are the markets of the future. Now is the right time to hold these workshops and equip the Western Cape travel trade in increasing the momentum the destination already enjoys in Asia even further,” says Mr Brouwer.
The workshop series followed a ten-day road show CTRU held in collaboration with SA Tourism in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea in July this year, hot on the heels of the World Cup. Private sector companies such as South African Airways, hotel chains, game lodges and tour operating companies, as well as local tourism marketing organisations such as the Cape Winelands, Franschhoek Wine Valley and Plettenberg Bay Tourism also participated in the six-city road show. It was held in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo.
During the road show, Itumeleng Pooe, Executive Manager: Destination Marketing – Leisure, Events & 2010, CTRU, updated Asian travel trade and media on Cape Town and the Western Cape’s latest tourism offerings, while sharing the destination’s World Cup successes, tourism tributes and details of its brand new collection of upgraded roads, transport facilities, five-star hotels and creative cuisine options.
“The World Cup created a most favourable and very receptive marketing environment for Cape Town and the Western Cape in China, Japan and Korea. Travellers are keen to visit the destination again and have had their interest peaked thanks to the exclusive global media coverage Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa received as a result of the World Cup. It is important now to build on the successes of Cape Town and the Western Cape’s 2010 destination marketing campaign, ‘Beyond the 90 Minutes’, to keep the destination top-of-mind and to adjust marketing strategies accordingly,” says Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of CTRU.
The series of Tourism Trade Training Workshops on Asian markets aims to provide travel operators and tourism industry partners with information on the unique needs of visitors from these countries, offering them tools to make the most of this very opportune time for the destination in order to maintain the high interest in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
During the period January to August 2010, South Africa received 42 857 tourists from China (including Hong Kong), which is a massive 61.1% up from last year; 18 249 tourists from Japan (up also a remarkable 54.9% from last year); and 12 553 tourists from Korea (up 30.1% from last year), according to SA Tourism. It is important to keep in mind that these figures reflect the 2010 World Cup arrivals.
After a decline of 9.9% in tourist arrivals from Japan to Cape Town and the Western Cape last year, compared to 2008, the city and province experienced an increase in arrivals from Japan during the first quarter of this year. From January to March 2010, 2 217 Japanese tourists travelled to Cape Town and the Western Cape, which is up 19.7% from the same period last year.
South Africa’s main competitors in the Chinese, Korean and Japanese markets are countries and regions such as South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
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