Cape Town’s busiest event month contributes significantly to GDP

March 18, 2015
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Cape Town is a hive of activity at this time of year. From the Design Indaba, Cape Town Cycle Tour, Cape Epic and Cape Town International Jazz Festival, this is the busiest event month of the year. Not only do these events add to the vibrancy and character of Cape Town, but they attract many domestic and international tourists, create jobs and add significantly to local and national GDP. Here is a quick overview of each event:

Design Indaba

Interactive Africa, the owners of Design Indaba, always advocated to explore how design contributes to solving problems in an emerging country. Now in its 20th year, the Design Indaba has earned a reputation for offering a world-class, multi-tiered platform championing all creative sectors. Delegates have grown from the initial 100 to 4 066 at the conference, with a total of 50 453 experiencing at least one of the Design Indaba events in 2014. The Expo, introduced later, now attracts 613 exhibitors and 673 buyers of which 208 are international. 1 146 direct and indirect jobs were created from Design Indaba, primarily due to the R201.9 million in business orders placed on the Expo floor. The Design Indaba contributed R128.2 million in regional GGP and R385.2 million to national GDP in 2014.

Cape Town Cycle Tour

Started in 1978, the inaugural Cape Town Cycle Tour attracted 525 entrants and is now the world’s largest individually timed cycling race with 35 000 cyclists from around the world. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is estimated to contribute R450 million to the Western Cape economy with main beneficiaries, the Pedal Power Association (PPA) and Rotary Club of Claremont sharing approximately R9 million in 2014. In 2012, charity entries were introduced for the first time and an estimated R40 million was raised for charity. In 2015, 110 charities benefited from the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Cape Epic

Started in 2004, the Cape Epic is often referred to as ‘the Tour de France of mountain biking’ and is only one of five bike stage races in the world classified as SHC (stage hors categorie) by the Union Cycliste Internationale. The others include the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, and the Cyprus Sunshine Cup which is the only other mountain biking event. The eight day team event attracts 1 200 riders of which 40% are international participants from 50 countries. The Cape Epic contributes R300 million with 900 crew and volunteers hired for the event and 27 full time staff. A knock-on effect is that 89% of international visitors say they would return to the Western Cape with their families.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering’. Started 16 years ago, it has grown into the fourth largest jazz festival in the world and the largest jazz festival in Africa. Contribution to GDP is R522 million in the Western Cape and R900 million nationally with 2 700 direct and indirect jobs created. The attendance has growth from the initial 14 000 to 34 000 and is hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre to accommodate this growth. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival hosts 40% international and 60% local musicians.

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