FURTHER MOMENTUM FOR BUSINESS TOURISM IN STELLENBOSCH REGION
The enormous potential of business tourism and its far-reaching economic advantages for the Stellenbosch region gained further momentum with the announcement that the first Rapport Cape Holiday Show will be held at Sandringham near Stellenbosch from 29 September to 1 October 2017 in partnership with Stellenbosch 360.
The Show was launched at an inaugural cocktail for the media and travel professionals at L’Avenir Wine Estate with the Shadow Minister of Tourism Mr James Vos MP as keynote speaker.
In his speech, Mr Vos stated: “It’s my absolute pleasure to give my support to the Rapport Holiday Show and to welcome the country’s top tourism industry buyers, travel advisors, trade visitors and exhibitors to our region.
I'm convinced that the Show will provide the industry with great opportunities to advance business-to-business trading, create massive travel and marketing exposure for products and services, lead to numerous new job opportunities and ultimately contribute to the tourism economy of our region and country”.
Western Cape’s leadership
He added: “We are fortunate that the Western Cape – with both Cape Town’s and Stellenbosch’s latest ICCA rankings – is considered one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, further strengthened by a new, focused approach to growing tourism, and a surge in private sector investment in hospitality infrastructure.
Business events create a long-term economic development platform that enables the country to develop its intellectual capital and showcase areas where South Africa demonstrates global leadership, providing exceptional networking opportunities which could lead to further investment”.
Upgrading of Airport
Mr Vos said that optimizing tourism growth necessitates investing in infrastructure at the attractions themselves to match the capacity of tourists coming into the country and upgrading infrastructure so that attractions are not negatively affected by congestion.
The upgrading of the Cape Town International Airport that will facilitate unrestricted air access into the region and enable growth of air traffic, stimulating tourism and economic activity has been prioritized. Depending on all the required approvals, construction is estimated to begin mid-2018.
The most noticeable upgrade will be a new and realigned runway amounting to R3.18 billion with extensive additions to existing facilities. The re-aligned primary runway will cater for aircraft like A380’s and other Code F aircraft to land at the airport.
He stated: “This runway project is not only about the growth of the airport; it's about unlocking the growth potential of Cape Town and the Western Cape”.
Biggest income driver
Mr Vos concluded: “Tourism is undoubtedly the biggest income driver in the Western Cape with conferences alone contributing to more than R1.5 billion to GDP over the past five years. The good news is that the Western Cape government will invest in new tourism attractions and address congestion at existing popular attractions in the coming months to attract more visitors.
I am therefore delighted to be associated with and to give my support to the Rapport Cape Holiday Show which I am certain will become an annual event. Projects such as these highlights the critical role that business tourism plays in reinventing cities and towns. South Africa has a wonderful diversity of people, fauna and flora. I know it also has the potential to make itself the country of choice for travel and trade”.