Table Mountain could get R1 billion boost a year

2011-04-15 14:45

Cape Town could benefit to the tune of R1.4 billion a year if it is named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, a tourism hospitality and leisure research company has found.

An independent impact report conducted by Grant Thornton showed that tourism to Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town would increase by about 20%.

70% of those visitors were expected to be international tourists, Grant Thornton said in a statement today.

“This would generate an additional R1.4 billion in revenue for the year or about R116 million a month, and the expenditure would support around 11 000 employment opportunities in South Africa,” the report said.

It was based on international and domestic travel trends and took into account a tourist’s average length of stay and spend.

Table Mountain had already been voted one of final 28 sites for the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign, with the final seven to be announced in November.

It was estimated that a billion votes – online and via SMS – would be cast, providing Table Mountain and South Africa with “unprecedented” marketing exposure.

Grant Thornton’s projections were based on a similar campaign in which 100 million votes were cast worldwide to vote for the New 7 Man-Made Wonders in 2007.

The report said that “measurable” results were seen at sites which made the top seven shortlist in that campaign.

“Visitors to Petra in Jordan increased by 61% and visitors to Christ the Redeemer in Brazil increased by 30%. The New 7 Man-Made Wonders has become part of school curriculums all over the world, and if the same happens to the New 7 Wonders of Nature, children from every corner of the globe will be learning about Table Mountain and South Africa as a destination.”

Chief executive of Cape Town Tourism Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, urged people to vote for Table Mountain.

“We are in the final stages of voting for the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the world over; an exciting time for us... both the recognition of a nomination and our inspirational city being linked to its iconic mountain if we win, continues the awareness of South Africa and Cape Town as a tourism destination to potential travellers across the globe.”

Table Mountain was the only South African feature in the contest run by the New 7 Wonder Foundation.

To vote, visit www.votefortablemountain.com or SMS “Table” to 34874.

SMSes cost R2 each and voters could vote as often as they like.

For further information contact the Cableway on 021 424 0015 or visit www.votefortablemountain.com.

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