That Cape Town is recognised by international travelers as one of the most beautiful and desirable cities to visit has been borne out by the many accolades that have been bestowed upon our unique city. Visitors, whether from overseas or upcountry, always remark that they have never been able to experience or see all that Cape Town has to offer during their Cape Town holiday because of the tremendous scope and range of attractions and activities available. Over the millennia this remarkable city often known as the “Tavern of the Seas” nestling under the iconic Table Mountain has welcomed visitors from every corner of the globe and many have stayed and contributed to the eclectic and exciting mixture that makes up our population.
In the 25 th century the King of Portugal named it the “ Cape of Good Hope”, a name that endures until today. Sir Francis Drake, during his circumnavigation of the world, called it “the most stately thing, and the Fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” Cape Town is loved for its amazing scenic beauty that starts with Table Mountain and Signal Hill offering spectacular views across the city and the Bay and continues along the peninsula on both the Atlantic and False Bay coasts to Cape point, along some of the truly most beautiful coastal scenic drives to be found anywhere in the world. The beaches of Cape Town with their clean white sand and beautiful blue waters, many of which now have international Blue Flag quality status, the popular Victoria and Alfred waterfront, an almost unending choice of restaurants and interesting things to eat as well as a range of affordable, quality wines and people with an enviable reputation for warmth and friendliness are just some of what keeps visitors returning and keeps Cape Town on the top of so many lists of “bests”. To this must be added the fact that visitors feel safe when visiting Cape Town thanks to a city that takes care of its tourists and makes the city safe to walk even late at night.
World’s best City : The most recent accolade bestowed on the city during November came from 17,000 readers of the prestigious UK Telegraph, who were polled about their favourite travel companies and destinations. Cape Town was chosen as the favourite city in the world, with South Africa coming in 3rd as the favourite country to visit; after New Zealand and the Maldives. That British tourists like visiting South Africa is well-known, but it is not only the British that have elevated our city with their votes. One of the top international travel websites in the world is TripAdvisor, with the bulk of their readers and members coming from the USA. 45-million TripAdvisor subscribers voted in 2011 to declare Cape Town as their choice as the world’s No.1 destination. TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma O’Boyle, was quoted as saying, “Cape Town is clearly the destination to beat. With beautiful scenery, great wine and gorgeous weather, it’s easy to see why Cape Town, which also played host to last year’s World Cup, has topped this year’s list.”
Another widely respected Website, the travel wing of CNN International; CNNGo this year listed Cape Town as one of the 10 most loved cities in the world. The CNNGo website explains how the top 10 cities were decided: “We’ve trawled the Internet for media ‘best of’ praise, solicited recommendations from local correspondents, bloggers and travellers, scraped the bottom of every Internet and press barrel we could find and came up with what we think is a definitive list of the world’s most loved cities.”. Cape Town was rated no2 city in the whole world and No. 1 city in Africa at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 , with an overall Readers’ Choice Rating of 84.8,. It is worth looking at how the overall ranking was made up :
Table Mountain voted as one of the World’s 7 Natural Wonders. Cape Town rejoiced when, 11/11/11, Table Mountain was chosen among the New7Wonders of Nature, following a lengthy international public voting process during which Table Mountain received more than 100 million votes from 220 countries, beating even the Great Barrier Reef, Kilimanjaro National Park and the Grand Canyon. The official inauguration ceremony will be held on December 1 and 2 at the foot of Table Mountain to inaugurate Cape Town’s iconic mountain to the list of seven wonders of the world.
Tourism growth results from this recognition, and the arrivals figures bear out the view that the country remains a hit with tourists, despite the global dip in travel numbers in the face of the global economic downturn. According to Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk tourist arrivals to South Africa grew by 10.5% for the first six months of 2012, more than double the global average of 5% for the same period. Cape Town Tourism has commissioned Horwath HTL to conduct monthly surveys of its members, to determine occupancy, growth and pricing trends. These surveys have shown that tourism in Cape Town has grown by 10% in the first 9 months of 2012 although room rates have increased only marginally. Perhaps the answer to continued growth as the holiday season approaches is to ensure that our visitors continue to perceive that they are getting good value for money.