Cape Town has been named the Third Greatest City on Earth by a Daily Telegraph survey, which assessed cities based on multiple metrics.
The city took a podium position primarily because of its sensational topography and geography.
It was the only African city to make the list, and went up against the likes of Sydney in Australia and Lisbon in Portugal, with Barcelona in Spain taking the top spot.
James Vos, the City’s mayoral committee member for economic growth said it was accolades like these that showed how special the city was.
“They firmly entrench what we all know: Cape Town is a best-in-class destination that offers unparalleled beauty, culture, and creativity.
“We’ve seen a positive increase in visitor recovery numbers – international and domestic arrivals – over the last few months.
“This positive news is the result of targeted and effective campaigns and strategies implemented by the City and Cape Town Tourism that capture the variety of our destination and we will continue working hard to ensure we reach greater heights. We’re sure this will be a wonderful catalyst to continue this trajectory.”
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism confirmed that they had been working hard behind the scenes to make sure these numbers increase.
“Our recently launched Find Your Freedom Travel Experience is a choice-driven, immersive travel experience that lets visitors virtually explore Cape Town, their way. Players choose their persona – the Fearless Foodie, Nature Warrior or Urban Adventure – and are taken down a rabbit-hole of rapid videos showcasing the best Mother City offerings linked to their interests.
“We’ve seen a tremendously positive response to the experience so far, with many people going on to book their bucket-list trips through Expedia, which has a host of Find Your Freedom-linked deals.
“We are extremely proud of another global accolade. To us, it’s the greatest city on earth and the perfect place to Find Your Freedom.”
Cape Town Tourism has also partnered with TikTok to launch its new account, which will appeal to its millennial audience – the cornerstone of its Find Your Freedom experience.
The TikTok channel includes a unique branded effect which features the same Afrofuturistic visuals and allows users of the app to interact and choose their path, with a call to action to play the game.
Tourism in recovery
Cape Town Tourism reported a recovery rate of 74% for international arrivals and 76% for domestic arrivals in April this year, compared to April 2019.
This continues an upward trajectory in local and international passenger movements seen since January.
Cape Town Tourism said the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, coupled with the South African summer, had meant many booked their bucket-list trips to Cape Town.
Mr Duminy said they were committed to moving from tourism recovery to “a chapter of tourism readiness”.
“In March, we saw a 72% recovery in domestic arrivals and 62% in international arrivals. In April, our domestic recovery numbers increased by 4%, alongside an impressive 12% jump in international arrivals. The numbers are looking extremely positive, and we hope to keep the momentum going, even with the inevitable impact of winter.”
Mr Vos added that the recovery of Cape Town’s visitor economy was a major gain for the city’s economy even though the city had not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
Alongside this, the Cape Town Tourism accommodation report indicates that the Mother City is also looking good with occupancy rates for March reaching 66.6% – up from 39.8% in March 2021 with the average room rate for that month rising to R1972, up from R991 in 2021. And last year, despite the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns, tourism drove R5.8 billion into the City’s economy.