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Why the world’s top event organisers choose Cape Town

25 June 2019

Cape Town is the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination and has become the envy of many global cities as a result of its wide-ranging events portfolio.

International events hosted in the city recently include the 2019 Condé Nast International ‘Nature of Luxury’ Conference, the YPO Edge and Global Leadership Conference, WTM Africa, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the African Mining Indaba, the Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

The city is also growing in popularity as a premier business and tech events destination, and was in 2019 ranked the number one city in Africa for business tourism events.

Upcoming business and tech events include the SA Innovation Summit, Africa Tech Week and the Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF).

In 2012, the City of Cape Town launched its Integrated Events Strategy and set out to become the events capital of Africa. Since then, Cape Town has continually affirmed its place as a leading events destination on the continent and was in 2018 named the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination at the World Travel Awards.

Here’s why some of the world’s top event organisers choose Cape Town

Billy Domingo, Cape Town International Jazz Festival director

There are many things that make the Cape Town International Jazz Festival an award-winning, world-famous event, but something that is often overlooked is the crucial supporting infrastructure and communitive ethos of our host city, and the impression Cape Town leaves on global visitors. Africa’s Grandest Gathering was born out of this ethos, and today attracts over 35, 000 visitors from South African and aboard. Our visitors not only come to Cape Town to enjoy the exceptional music on offer, but also to explore the beauty of the Mother City and its surroundings. It comes as no surprise that our city is once again being acknowledged as the events capital of the world, a title that is greatly deserved and will continue to contribute to the wonderful attributes that make Cape Town the friendly, exciting and warm place that it is.

Kevin Vermaak, founder of the Absa Cape Epic

Cape Town provides an iconic South African backdrop for the Epic. The trails of the region have had much to do with the fact the Cape Epic is regarded as the premier mountain bike stage race in the world. We have been called the Tour de France of mountain biking, and have set standards for mountain bike events around the world. The excellence of the trails, the infrastructure and the people who build new routes and maintain them each and every year are the lifeblood of our sport.

Paul Bellamy, managing director of World RallyCross for IMG

We have found the perfect match in Africa to host the World Championship. Cape Town is a desirable international tourist destination and we’ve had tremendous support from both the City of Cape Town and Killarney International Raceway. The track backdrop of Table Mountain as One of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the heritage, world class track and facilities at Killarney will be the ideal setting for our World Championship season-closer in Cape Town.

Janet Welham, organiser of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

We are so blessed to call Cape Town our home. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon proudly hosted Africa’s only IAAF GOLD Label status marathon. With the on-going support of the City, Western Province Athletics, our Sponsors and Partners and with Cape Town being one of the world’s top tourism destinations, we believe, that in time to come, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will become one of the worlds “must run” destination marathons.

CEO, Jay Douwes, CEO of Cape Town Carnival

A spectacular socially transformative event like the Cape Town Carnival relies on receptive and supportive engagement with our host city. Safely accommodating massive crowds in public open space is a credit to our beautiful tourist friendly city and provides an opportunity for locals & tourists to experience and enjoy South African community, culture & creativity.

Irene Ochem, Founder & CEO, Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)

Cape Town is one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations and the number one Convention City in Africa. It has a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem with global dimensions, and it is only natural that an organization such as AWIEF would want to position itself to be part of that global community in order to promote its pan-African agenda.

Sugen Pillay, commercial director for Reed Exhibitions, organisers of Africa Travel Week

The feedback from international buyers and attendees is absolutely positive. The buyers are always impressed with what Cape Town has to offer. Many of them haven’t been to the continent before. When they come here they sample the destination, and then the business happens. We bring in new buyers every year. The products have been amazing, the service levels excellent and the hospitality world-class. We do a lot of research before a show. When we started off, over 90% of buyers requested for the show to be in Cape Town. It would be foolish of us to move it to another destination. Every year we ask the same question and get the same response. The city is doing something right to attract these buyers. Cape Town is known as a premier tourism destination globally. The city is the positioning factor for South Africa globally.

Cape Town Events Office

Cape Town’s Events Office is a one-stop shop that enables event organisers to stage world-class events in the city. The office assist in ensuring that events meet the regulatory requirements and facilitate the necessary services such as traffic, health, safety and environmental services. For more information about the Events application process, click here.