Minister Winde Announces Intention to Incorporate Tourism, Investment and Trade Marketing under Wesgro
Today, Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister, Alan Winde, announced his intention to create the function of tourism destination marketing within Wesgro, the Western Cape's trade and investment agency.
This was a joint decision between Minister Winde and the boards of Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU) and Wesgro, and will entail the winding down of CTRU.
At the announcement, Minister Winde said: "Cabinet gave in-principle support for the winding down of CTRU yesterday and the creation of tourism destination marketing functions within Wesgro. This was after both agencies agreed that incorporating trade, investment and tourism marketing under one roof would bring greater efficiency in these strained economic times. It would also ensure coordination of the Western Cape Government's outward facing marketing initiatives."
In September 2010, the Western Cape Government announced that it would form an Economic Development Agency (EDA) to bring the economy together. It was envisaged that the EDA would incorporate the province's public entities and special purpose vehicles. After a year of extensive consultation with all sectors and bodies concerned, and in line with the final structure recommended to us by Andrew Boraine of the Cape Town Partnership who was tasked with devising a model of world-class standard, we have amended the proposed structure. Instead, we will form a high-level Economic Development Partnership (EDP) that coordinates all the role players in the economy. It will perform the following functions:
- Provisioning of economic and market intelligence and monitoring to ensure evidence-led strategy and planning.
- Development of an economic vision and strategy through building leadership and a common strategic agenda.
- Business attraction, retention and expansion through an improved business climate.
- Creating a single brand platform through a regional marketing alliance.
- Organising the economic system for optimum delivery through performance monitoring and ongoing coordination of economic reform.
The EDP has been registered as a not-for-profit company, and is on track to begin operating officially from next April.
On that same date, Wesgro will become the single economic development delivery agency of the Western Cape Government and its official implementing agency.
CEO of Wesgro, Mr Nils Flaatten, said: "Through this move, we can combine our financial and personnel resources to drive a far more aggressive international marketing campaign with a unified brand focused on business and tourism. In addition, our research capabilities can now be combined to gain more efficient and real-time market data which will drive our understanding of the global economy and positively impact our action plans and delivery. The creation of tourism marketing within Wesgro will result in greater efficiencies, economies of scale and a more complete set of services."
CEO of CTRU, Mr Calvyn Gilfellan, agreed: "The CTRU board is in full support of the intention to create the function of tourism destination marketing within a restructured Wesgro. This is a positive move to ensure that tourism destination marketing is positioned and located within the context of the Economic Development Partnership. It also provides clear direction and certainty to both Wesgro and CTRU staff. The CTRU board wishes to assure all stakeholders and partners in the tourism industry that they can expect even better tourism destination marketing programmes and support."
In the interim, we have mandated a task team consisting of representatives from the department and both agencies to navigate the processes required to ensure that the creation of the tourism destination marketing function within Wesgro is achieved smoothly and with maximum positive impact for the Western Cape's tourism industry. They are tasked with the drafting of legislation to repeal the Western Cape Tourism Act (2004) and expand the Western Cape Trade and Investment Agency Law Amendment Act (2005) to include tourism destination marketing, and the drafting of a coordinated annual performance plan for trade, investment and destination marketing.
Minister Winde concluded: "My biggest frustration is that tourism is seen as the ugly stepsister when in fact it has the potential to be the Cinderella of our economy. Tourism accounts for 10% of this province's GDP, making it very serious business. This move will allow us to give this industry the attention it deserves."