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Cape Town explores potential, opportunities of night-time economy

1 November 2019

The night-time economy is increasingly being recognised as a catalyst for economic growth and can no longer be an afterthought.

Efforts to grow the night-time economy (NTE) have been gaining traction in some of the world’s most prominent cities. The NTE is a catalyst for increasing a city’s attractiveness, developing its cultural offering and creating jobs.

The Sound Diplomacy’s guide to managing cities revealed that the New York NTE contributes US$10 billion to the city’s economy; whereas in Sydney the NTE accounts for approximately 10-16% of the CBD employment; while the NTE is worth 6% of the United Kingdom’s gross domestic product or £66 billion annually.

“I am excited to announce that the City of Cape Town is considering the potential opportunities associated with the NTE in Cape Town central and surrounds,” says Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

The City’s Enterprise and Investment Department, the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Central City Improvement District (CCID) have formed an NTE working group. The group has been developing and sharing knowledge, which will be used to boost our outlook on the NTE.

A study is being planned to determine the potential economic outputs and job creation opportunities that the NTE offers – both directly and indirectly.

“Depending on the results, my team will develop an action plan for implementation consisting of cross-cutting responsibilities. I am confident that the NTE holds the key for economic growth and employment opportunities,” says Alderman Vos. “I am excited that Honours students from UCT have been assigned the task of conducting research in this area supervised by Professor Francois Viruly and Professor Kathy Michell (HOD) from the Urban Real Estate Research Unit. Further research will also be concluded by the City in the 2019/20 financial year.”

Research conducted in several major cities has revealed the value and NTE economic spinoffs made by restaurants, taxis, hospitality services and entertainment, among others.

“I am also of the view that Cape Town will benefit from this approach as it will diversify leisure and commercial activities, become a source of employment and additional revenue for the city, while boosting tourism,” added Alderman Vos.