Sunday, May 13, 2012, heralded the official signing of the Three Cities Alliance agreement between Cape Town Tourism, Durban Tourism, and Johannesburg Tourism.
The Three Cities Alliance sees Cape Town Tourism, Durban Tourism, and Johannesburg Tourism putting their combined resources into a national partnership in order to promote the urban tourism offerings of South Africa. The Three Cities agreement introduces a new age for collaboration on domestic and international marketing campaigns, information distribution, marketing collateral and online campaigns, events and trade shows, as well as shared knowledge on an executive level. In terms of domestic marketing, the three cities will collaborate to leverage local events and align events calendars where possible, promoting each other’s events and short city break packages.
The formation of the alliance was announced at INDABA 2011, but Sunday’s formal induction brought positive progress to the partnership just one year on with the official signing of the agreement by the three cities’ tourism organizations.
South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima, said: “Our government has identified tourism as one of the six key growth areas of our country’s economy. And the more we can improve our economy, the more we can improve the lives of our country’s citizens and their living conditions. Even though South Africa is well-known for its world-class wildlife offering, South African Tourism is increasingly projecting to a global audience that South Africa offers so much more – our urban, cosmopolitan cities, our vibrant music industry, burgeoning status as a global fashion capital, our cuisine, and our rich heritage and culture.”
Phillip Sithole of eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support and Tourism said: “Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town are three different but corresponding brands harnessing our assets individually and collaboratively. Unique identities, authentic experiences,and a powerful story is the armoury of a successful city brand. The joint marketing agreement is a formal recognition of our synergies and will go a long way to present a conducive and integrated city tourism experience for both domestic and international travelers.”
Phelisa Mangcu, acting CEO of Joburg Tourism, said: “Joburg Tourism and our partners are committed to working with Cape Town, Durban, and South African Tourism to showcase our vibrant cities as urban areas in evolution that can be counted amongst the world’s cities of the future. In so doing, we believe South Africa and its urban centers can attract a much more substantial segment of the world’s urban travelers.”
CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, said; “Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg started the journey of urban tourism collaboration a year ago and the endorsement of our national partners at South African Tourism heralds the era of a new way of marketing South Africa internationally. The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s [UNWTO] research shows that up to 80 percent of international tourists are in search of urban tourism – exploring diverse cultures and experiencing a country through the entry and viewpoint of its cities. In a world where cities are the true players in a competitive global economy, culture is extensively being recognized as an expediter of economic and urban progress. By working together, Cape Town, Durban,and Johannesburg will combine efforts and resources to package South Africa’s urban tourism offering in a way that differentiates each city’s uniqueness, growing demand, and new markets.”