Cape Town is ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It also has the highest population of muslims provincially in South Africa. These two factors have contributed to the launch of a new campaign to create a more attractive offering for international muslim visitors by Cape Town Tourism.
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, is spearheading the campaign, which will showcase the different facets of the local muslim culture and in turn grab the attention of the Muslim traveller.
According to the MasterCard – CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015, by 2020 approximately 26% of the world’s population will be Muslim. But more importantly for tourist destinations like Cape Town, Muslim tourism is already one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global travel industry, with visitor spending predicted to reach $220-billion (R1.4-trillion) in the next three years.
Reaching out to the Muslim tourist is easy if the city is already prepared and equipped to deal with their specific needs. Many restaurants in the Mother City cater for their guests from halaal kitchens. Several hotels have also stepped up their game and included prayer rooms and halaal facilities in their kitchens to cater to Muslim visitors.
Cape Town Tourism plans on building on existing marketing strategies and reaching out to smaller existing source markets to expand offerings appealing to those markets.
“Every year, we monitor where our visitors come from and the growth or decline in those patterns; what we have realised is that while key source markets exist, the opportunities for growth can come from outside those markets, which is why an initiative such as encouraging Muslim-friendly tourism holds such potential to boost our tourism economy,” says Duminy.
“The city boasts a rich Muslim history with the Cape Malay community making up around a quarter of our population. Cape Town is also where South Africa’s first Muslim community was set up, and is home to the oldest mosque in the country. Our local heritage gives rise to a global opportunity to increase our tourism numbers by welcoming the international Muslim traveler to our city which also, in turn, supports the existing culture and businesses of Cape Town’s Muslim community through tourism,” he says.
The drive to attract the Muslim visitor is part of a larger marketing strategy that’s designed to ensure that, in all aspects of tourism, Cape Town can hold its own as a competitive player on the world stage.