The stream of tourism-related awards that Cape Town has recently received has reinforced the city’s emerging status as one of the world’s top destinations, as well as a location to be placed on all travellers’ bucket lists.
However, in order to continue this momentum, the service standards and levels amongst hospitality providers need to remain a top priority for the tourism industry.
This is according to Nick Seewer, CEO of Pepperclub Hotel and Spa, who says that while Cape Town has been ranked on travellers’ list of places to visit for a while, only recently has the interest significantly spiked.
Over the last month, Cape Town has walked home with two top accolades with the most recent being ranked third in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 – Top 10 cities. This follows winning the 11th spot in the Top 25 Cities in the World by Condé Nast Traveler 26th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Cape Town surpassed Paris, Sydney and Barcelona in the awards, which saw 1.3 million votes being cast for the rankings.
Seewer attributes this increasing interest to various factors. “South Africa has always been a popular destination to visit due to the countries multiple and diverse tourist offerings from natural beauty and scenery, to wildlife, and heritage sites. It truly offers something for every traveller.
“The 2010 FIFA World Cup also boosted the country’s image and showcased the destination to millions of travellers around the world. Other recent accolades, such as Table Mountain being named as the New Seven Wonders of Nature and Cape Town being awarded the 2014 World Design Capital, have also played a significant role with strengthening the appeal among travellers.”
He says that Cape Town, as a city, has also evolved over the last 25 years.
“The city has undergone a drastic regeneration with much money being invested into infrastructure, venues, conferencing and hotels, and has resulted in the city being put on the map as a cosmopolitan city and iconic destination to visit for both leisure and business.”
The World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 (WDC 2014) will only further aid regeneration in the city, says Seewer.
It was announced at a press conference at the end of October that the WDC 2014 will showcase approximately 450 projects as part of the programme next year. “The central thesis of the City of Cape Town’s approach to the World Design Capital 2014 is to use excellence in design, to design the change we want to see in our city, using the very building blocks of which our city is comprised,” says Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille who spoke at the press conference.
Seewer adds that in order to maintain the reputation Cape Town has built, of an international travel player, service levels need to remain up to standard.
“When travellers think of Cape Town – the first thing that usually comes to mind is often value for money, an amazing destination, great people and good service.”
“This package deal is what generates tourists to our shores and in a competitive global tourism environment we need to ensure standard levels in the hospitality sector remain on par, if not better, than our rival destinations,” concludes Seewer.