The face of Cape Town’s hospitality sector has transformed almost completely in the last few years, and as international tourism in the province thrives, the industry is poised for further growth.
The city out-performed that of Vancouver and Tokyo when it was named the World’s Best City by the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards in December. And despite tough economic times, according to data released by SA Tourism in July last year (2017), the Western Cape attracted 1.5 million foreign tourists in 2016, who spent roughly R18 billion in the province, contributing largely to economic growth.
Leon Meyer, General Manager of the Westin Cape Town, a hotel at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) precinct says the hotel industry in Cape Town’s CBD is “vibrant and healthy” and has enjoyed continued growth in the last few years, largely due to the city’s reputation as a preferred tourist destination.
However, transforming the industry has taken a lot of hard work, and out-of-the-box, innovative thinking to attract new guests and retain existing ones. Likewise for Marriott International of which the hotel group Westin Cape Town is a part of, Meyer says adapting has been priority, especially with the upsurge in technology globally. He says introducing loyalty programmes was one way of doing this, and is of “great importance” for the group and to demonstrate the hotel’s commitment to its guests.
In the Mother City, specifically, tourism is booming. In 2016 alone Cape Town International Airport reported that 10 million passengers entered the province, the highest number ever recorded. To keep up with the amount of tourists entering the Mother City, the past few months have seen several new hotel developments opening in the CBD alone, including the Tsogo Sun Stay Easy and Sun Square, and the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence in the CBD. A prominent new development is the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, including the Radisson Red and Silo Hotel.
“The city is booming, we have people coming here from all over the world to enjoy what our city has to offer. The Western Cape on the whole has been placed on the global forefront with several awards and it’s been highly beneficial for the industry,” he says.