Earlier this week I visited Cape Town International Airport with Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, to view the new branding that forms part of a campaign installation in promoting a partnership between Cape Town and New York City. 

The co-marketing agreement between the two global tourism giants is spearheaded by the respective destination marketing companies, Cape Town Tourism, and NYC & Company. The agreement has seen the destinations collaborating by using their respective resources to market each other. Cape Town’s many attractions are displayed on bus shelters and kiosks across New York’s five districts to introduce US locals to the Mother City. Similarly, the Big Apple is highlighted to Capetonians and visitors through mobile information centres, branding on MyCiTi buses, various billboards in the Cape Town CBD, and extensive branding at the Cape Town International Airport.

The partnership received an extra boost with the recent announcement of a direct flight between Cape Town and New York. This flight will be introduced later this year. 

According to Duminy, the objective of this partnership, which started three years ago, was to increase the demand for travel between the two cities and ultimately for a direct flight between Cape Town and New York City. 

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 & NYC Company has been integral for access to the North American market. The route will assist in attracting foreign direct investment into Cape Town and will be a catalyst for economic growth in the city.

We are gearing up for an additional 24 000 inbound passengers from the new direct route from New York which will be serviced by United Air. Travellers from the United States will grow by an estimated 20%, and about 900 jobs will be created during the first year. The flight will also contribute to a R421 million boost in tourism spend by 2021.

During the visit, I was briefed by Deon Cloete, Cape Town International Airport’s General Manager, on the progress of the R7 billion planned upgrades at the airport which will allow new direct international flights connecting Africa to the world. Once completed, the new runway will have the capacity to handle 45 flights per hour.

I am pleased to announce that the much anticipated first tender T2 Enablement project to the value of R1,5 billion for phase 1 of the project was advertised last week.  We expect work to commence early next year.

Cloete confirmed that the Cape Town International Airport is committed to delivering a quality service and hassle-free experience for passengers. He added that the airport is part of an award-winning value chain within the city and that they play an integral role as a key touchpoint in Cape Town.

The first direct flight from New York is scheduled to arrive in Cape Town on 16 December. The provisional plan is to provide three flights per week over the tourism high season in Cape Town, shaving four hours off the current travel time. 

The launch of the route by United Airlines is proof of the importance of partnerships between cities. Later this month, we will be hosting a delegation from New York as we extend the partnership for another two years. 

Given the tremendous economic benefits and with the initial partnership now being accomplished, we are looking forward to announcing what we aim to achieve during the next phase of this partnership.

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