Cape Town once again plays host to travellers from all over the world visiting the city for the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), which takes place on the first weekend of April 2016. According to Bruce Deneys, Director of sales and marketing at Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, a five star hotel in Cape Town.
“This increasingly popular event attracts in excess of 37,000 people each year, and provides a much welcomed boost for the local economy,” says Deneys.
As a result of the recent ‘mini-festive season’ of back-to-back public holidays during March, Deneys says that the hotel has witnessed an influx of travellers to the region over the period, and that the internationally recognised CTIJF will only boost these numbers as local and international tourists alike flock to the city for the event.
“It was reported that 37 000 music lovers attended the Jazz Festival over the two festival days in 2015. However, the festival brings more than music and tourists to the city – it brings opportunity for employment, upskilling of labour resources and business to hotels, restaurants and entertainment establishments city-wide,” says Deneys.
Given the challenging economic climate, all sectors in the Western Cape have been challenged to contribute to positive economic change, and the local hospitality sector has met and exceeded the challenge, says Deneys. Based on most recent figures, the 2014 CTIJF alone created 2,723 jobs and contributed R 553.3m o the local economy – almost double that of the festival’s contribution to national GDP before the recession of 2008.
“The festival doesn’t only provide revenue for the event itself, but for all participating suppliers and members of the hospitality sector. Guests travelling to Cape Town spend money on accommodation, restaurants and transport providers, as well as in local retailers. This surge of visitors also creates jobs as providers seek to meet the increased demand for products or services,” says Deneys.
Small and medium enterprises are also set to benefit from the hosting of large scale international events such as the CTIJF, especially small local businesses such as catering companies, security firms, audio-visual engineers, media specialists and accommodation operators.
He explains that given an event such as the CTIJF can contribute so significantly to the local economy, it is a huge boost and inspiration to the entire hospitality sector. “This event consistently proves that the arts, culture and hospitality sectors are major role-players in the broader South African economy.
“The City has the potential, through the promotion of the CTIJF and other similar events, to continue the development of a sustainable event tourism industry that can boost the sector and continually contribute to the country’s economy, especially in light of current economic challenges.”
Discussing South African tourism numbers in general, Deneys believes that the number of travellers to the region will continue to increase as a result of the weaker Rand. “The weakening Rand has made it even more expensive for South Africans to travel abroad, resulting in many instead looking to travel and holiday locally. Meanwhile, for international tourists, the favourable exchange rate is making travel to the country even more affordable,” concludes Deneys.