Cape Town - Cape Town's tourism sector contributed 7.5% of the city's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, according to a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The share of the tourism industry as part of Cape Town's GDP has risen over the past decade, partly due to weak activity in other sectors, according to the report. The city's tourism sector also benefitted from SA hosting the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup in 2010.
The WTTC report looked at the impact of travel and tourism on certain cities in Africa and the Middle East in 2017. It found that Cape Town’s tourism revenue relies on both business and leisure visitors.
Gloria Guevara Manzo, president and CEO of the WTTC, said in the report that travel and tourism is one of the largest sectors in the world, supporting more than 10% of global economic activity and 292 million jobs. One in ten jobs worldwide is in the travel and tourism industry.
Guevara said the growth and success of the sector requires recognising and monitoring the trends that will drive future travel habits.
"As the world rapidly urbanises, there is a need to manage that growth with effective planning. A successful city is one where business, infrastructure, resources, and environment meet with quality jobs and effective government support," she explained.
"The role of travel and tourism in contributing to this goal in cities cannot be underestimated, both in creating civic pride and jobs, and, on a pure financial basis, through the export revenue generated by international visitors."
She said cities are growing increasingly large and influential and are accounting for a greater proportion of global tourism demand.
Collectively Africa and Saudi Arabia contribute only 6.4% of the global economic contribution of the tourism sector.
In 2016, the largest travel and tourism economies in Africa, namely Egypt, South Africa and Morocco were ranked 39th, 40th, and 42nd respectively, out of 185 countries in terms of their direct GDP contribution.
The report found that cities are important hubs for tourism within countries.
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