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MEC Alan Winde attends opening of World Travel Market Africa

Thousands in city for World Travel Market Africa

More than 5 000 delegates are in the Western Cape this week for the World Travel Market (WTM) Africa trade show.

Tomorrow (19 April 2017), Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, will attend the official opening of WTM Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). This year the annual event takes place between 19 April and 21 April.

The event attracts travel agents, tour operators and media from across the world.

To showcase the Western Cape's offering, Wesgro, along with all the regions of the province, will be exhibiting.

MEC Winde said the Western Cape has prioritised tourism through its Project Khulisa strategy, and set the goal of adding up to 100 000 jobs to the tourism sector.

"This is a very exciting time for tourism in the Western Cape. International arrivals are up by almost 30% year-on-year. Last year, the Cape Town International Airport reached a significant milestone, processing 10 million passengers in a year for the first time. We've also seen how innovation and technology is allowing more residents to participate in the growth of the tourism sector. Across the world, Airbnb has 60 million properties on its database. The number of Airbnb properties in our region has climbed to 17 500."

MEC Winde said leading hotel groups had also committed significant investment into new hospitality infrastructure to accommodate for the growth in arrivals.

"Earlier this year, the Silo Hotel opened at the V and A Waterfront. Last year, Marriott International, in partnership with Amdec, announced a R2 billion investment into the development of three new properties here. Tsogo Sun is currently adding 500 rooms to their hospitality offering in Cape Town CBD, through the opening of a R680 million hotel complex. The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has also invested significantly into our province. The group has launched the Radisson Red at the V and A Waterfront's Silo District, and the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence at the old Triangle House Building. The Ritz has also completed a revamp."

MEC Winde said the CTICC was also completing an expansion which would increase its capacity to cater for the projected rise in business tourism.

"Our tourism sector has grown tremendously since we launched our Project Khulisa strategy in 2014. I am looking forward to sharing the gains in job numbers and sector revenue later this year, when I will releasing an official update. We've also been focusing on getting key enablers right, like reducing red tape. One of my biggest priorities is skills development, and we're on a province-wide drive to make sure our young people have the skills they need to take advantage of opportunities in this sector."

Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO: "As Cape Town and the Western Cape's official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, Wesgro is incredibly proud to promote the province at this year's World Travel Market. We have brought on a number of exhibitors from across the Cape, and our leisure and business tourism teams will work closely with them to secure new leads and sources of investment."

Source: Government of South Africa

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