Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 – Impact On Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town Design Capital 2014 Logo

How Will The Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 – Impact On Cape Town Tourism and Accommodation Providers?

Today I’ll Try And Answer What The Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 Is And How Cape Town Tourism Can Benefit From This Mega Event. But I have unanswered questions. Some I can answer today…..

Cape Town Design Capital 2014 Logo

Wat Is the Cape Town World Design Capital All About?

You can read the long story here;

The World Design Capital is a city promotion project that celebrates the merits of design. Held biennially, it seeks to highlight the accomplishments of cities that are truly leveraging design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic life of cities, throughout a yearlong programme of design-related events.

This title will give Cape Town a chance to showcase its achievements and aspirations through a year-long programme of design-led events and activities as World Design Capital designees Seoul (2010) and Helsinki (2012) have done. 

To give you a feel for Cape Town’s approach in winning the bid for 2014 let me share a quote from the bid book, “In 1994 we inherited a city designed for separation; and since then we have been designing a city for integration.”

What Is The Timing For The Cape Town World Design Capital 2014?

The Signature Events Are (more here):

  • Design Week Forum November 30, 2013.
  • Launch Event for WDC 2014 – December 1, 2013.
  • Design Gala Feb 26, 2014.
  • Design Policy Conference Nov 26-28, 2014.
  • Design House Exhibition Nov 21-29, 2014.
  • Convocation Ceremony Nov 30, 2014

The year long program and dates, for these signature events, have not been finalised. But that should not stop you from considering this event and how you will offer your services to these event guests.

How Many Guests Are Expected For The Cape Town World Design Capital 2014?

The World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 Summary Final Report (pdf) indicates that they had 2.5 million guests over the year long program. I am not sure what Cape Town can expect but 2.5 million is a lot of visitors.

Cape Town World Design Capital 2014

Helsinki World Design Capital Guests

This is what Alan Winde referred to during an interview:

Cape Town Design Cape Town 2014 Alan Winde Quote

The leading international design city.

That’s huge and Cape Town can make a similar impact.

The question now is how do Cape Town tourism and specifically accommodation providers tap into this opportunity? (Read more on the CEO of Cape Town Design Capital 2012 Reesberg)

Cape Town Design Capital Reesberg

Above they talk about the total of 2.5 million for Helsinki. Reesberg mentions 20 000 visitors. I realise that we are not in Europe and should not compare us to Helsinki but between 20 000 and 2.5 million is a huge cap. We have all gone on the Soccer 2010 madness and never saw anything and I don’t expect you to wait for the influx. But that should not stop us from learning and improving our offers to events visitors in general.

What Is Needed Before Accommodation Owners Fill More Beds With Events Visitors?

We need to define what these visitors want and offer it to them. Reesberg talks about putting together packages. That makes sense if you are a travel agent or tour operator. Not something you do as an accommodation provider.

Cape Town Design Capital 2014


Again Mariette talks about travel packages. This does not easily translate into Cape Town self catering accommodation.

In order for Cape Town self catering accommodation owners to attract some of these event guests they need to know more. And these are some of the questions I don’t have answers for:

  1. What is the profile of these guests?
  2. What kind of accommodation do they prefer; hotel, B&B or self catering?
  3. What kind of money do they spend?
  4. How many days do they spend at the event and how many days are for leisure?
  5. How many visitors are expected?

I will try and get answers to these questions. If you can assist please leave a comment and I will be in touch. (BTW: I contacted a few times, also via their Twitter account. They could not answer my questions.

In the mean time: I believe that these guests will look for information on the event. All kinds of information. My plan is to find this information, curate it, publish it and invite readers to our Cape Town accommodation directory. As soon as it’s presentable I will share it with you.

Again: If you have any ideas on how Cape Town accommodation owners can collaborate with the Cape Town Design Capital team, and other tourism operators please share them in the comments area or use my contact form to email me.


June 24, 2013


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