Tourism in Cape Town, along with other key economic growth sectors, is to receive a shot in the arm with the launch of Project Ithuba by the city’s newly established Economic Opportunities and Asset Management directorate.

Speaking at the project launch in Cape Town, Alderman James Vos, who heads the new directorate, said its aim was to ignite the city’s key economic sectors. 

Under Project Ithuba, Vos said, the city would boost Cape Town Tourism by expanding its service-level agreement and budget to enhance its effectiveness in marketing the city. Pending city council approval at the end of May, CTT would be re-appointed on a three-year contract. Its responsibilities would include product development and diversification; destination marketing and management; visitor information services; and connectivity. “This is a big deal,” Vos said, “because now we will be able to get the best return on our investment. I also want to get the best possible deal for tourism growth and product development. Coming out of Project Ithuba, I want to see many more tourism products being developed and greater access to market created.” He said a report with final budget figures for CTT would be drawn up this month and submitted to him for submission to council.

CTT CEO, Enver Duminy, said the new contract, if approved, would come into effect on July 1. He confirmed this would be CTT’s second three-year appointment since 2014, after having operated on annual budgets from the city since 2004, which created uncertainty, slowed down projects, affected staff retention and hampered long-term commercial partnerships and marketing agreements. “Three years is a big deal as it allows for continuity and provides for certainty, which allows for momentum to be sustained for all programmes. It is also a vote of confidence in our organisation,” Duminy said.  CTT’s previous budget was about R43m (€2.68m), he added, with about 20% self-funded from membership fees, sales commission and advertising.

Vos said tourism currently provided 150 000 jobs in Cape Town, making it the sector with the highest growth and employment potential, with two million jobs targeted by 2030.

Apart from tourism, other key focus areas of Project Ithuba included investment; asset management; and business and skills development. This included the opening in mid-2019 of a walk-in business service hub in the Strand Concourse, providing support to entrepreneurs and small businesses; while #InvestCapeTown promoted Cape Town as a globally competitive business destination.