Marking the culmination of a shared marketing agreement between Cape Town and New York, Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism and Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, including Tourism, visited Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) to oversee a campaign installation promoting the partnership between the cities.

The agreement has seen the organisations pool their resources to market each other. In New York, Cape Town’s many attractions have appeared on bus shelters and kiosks across New York’s five boroughs, introducing US locals to what the Mother City has to offer.

Similarly, Cape Town Tourism has highlighted the Big Apple to Capetonians and visitors to Cape Town through its mobile Information Centres, branding on 20 MyCiti buses, various billboards in the Cape Town CBD, and extensive branding at the International Arrivals area at the airport.

The partnership received an extra boost by the recent announcement of a direct flight between Cape Town and New York, which will begin later this year.

“When we began discussions about this partnership three years ago, our objective was to increase the demand for travel between our cities with the ultimate goal of a direct flight between Cape Town and New York City,” says Duminy.

Vos elaborated: “In addition to marketing Cape Town as a tourism destination to the millions of New Yorkers and the millions more who visit the Big Apple, the partnership between Cape Town Tourism and NYC Company has been integral in providing much-welcomed access to the North American market. The route will assist in attracting foreign direct investment into Cape Town. What cannot be downplayed is that this will be a catalyst for economic growth in the city.

“We are gearing up for an additional 24 000 inbound passengers expected from the new direct route from New York. This will lead to growing travellers from the United States by 20%. United Airlines will service the new non-stop route between Cape Town and North America.” Vos added that during the first year it was estimated that it would create 900 jobs.

During the visit, Deon Cloete, Cape Town International Airport General Manager, briefed Vos and Duminy on the progress of the R7bn (US$471m) upgrades being made to CTIA. It includes developing the airport to take on new direct international flights, with a new runway that will have the capacity to handle 45 flights per hour.

“We are committed to delivering a quality service and ensuring that the passenger experience at the airport is always hassle-free. We recognise that we are a part of an award-winning value chain within the city and that we play a very serious role as a key touch point in Cape Town,” says Cloete.

Shaving four hours off current travel times, the first direct flight from New York is scheduled to arrive in Cape Town on December16, with three flights planned weekly over the city’s tourism high season.

“The launch of this route by United Airlines is proof of the importance of this partnership between Cape Town Tourism and NYC & Company. Later this month we will be hosting a delegation from New York as we extend the partnership for another two years. With the aims of the initial partnership achieved, we look forward to announcing what we look to achieve during the next phase of this partnership,” Duminy concludes.