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Cape Town Jazz Festival hits all the right notes for the economy

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, held in April this year, contributed more than R475 million to Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The festival’s economic impact was determined by research conducted by the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies at the North West University and Tshwane University of Technology.

“Events like the Jazz Festival bring direct benefits to our residents in the form of tourism and job creation, and therefore have my full support. Tourism is labour-intensive and one of the biggest multipliers for job creation. Jazz is well entrenched in our Cape Flats communities and is a vital glue that binds some of Cape Town’s poorest communities. There is an emerging culture of township jazz that I am very excited about.” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development and Tourism, Alderman Felicity Purchase.

Along with this substantial boost to the Western Cape, South Africa’s GDP as a whole derived benefit to the tune of R685 million. As a direct spin-off of the festival, jobs were created for 2000 staff and many contractors.

The research found that loyal ‘festinos’ travelled to Cape Town mainly to attend the festival and spent most of their money on accommodation, followed by food, restaurants and transport to the festival. The event itself generates R43 million based on visitor spending. The total direct spending amounts to R52.6 million.

For the music industry, the impact of the festival on production is approximately R112 million, representing the value of the festival to the economy of the Western Cape. Through labour income multipliers the impact increases to approximately R461 million.

The City’s Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed, encourages similar events that can increase the number of visitors to Cape Town and South Africa.

“Once visitors get a glimpse of Cape Town, they return with their families and friends to visit our beautiful province and the rest of South Africa. It is encouraging that most of the overseas Jazz Festival visitors came from our three largest tourist markets, namely the UK, USA and Germany. Events like these help put Cape Town on the global map. Cape Town is an iconic brand that should be used to attract more visitors to South Africa. The city was declared Africa’s Best Travel Destination at the World Travel Awards and in November last year, and won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category,” said Mohamed.

Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan encouraged other event organisers in Cape Town and the Western Cape to make a special effort to boost the numbers of visitors their events attract to the Province. “Most of the 33 500 attendees of this year’s festival originated from the Western Cape and Gauteng, spending on average of 6.3 nights in Cape Town. Domestic travel is the backbone of the tourism industry and we applaud the festival for motivating these visitors to experience the tourism offering of our exquisite destination. The media coverage this event attracted, represented an advertising value equivalent to R163 million. This resulted in exposure for the destination in the UK, USA, Germany, Nigeria and Kenya,” he said.

Published by Martin Pollack.
© City of Cape Town, 2016