In 2008, Table Mountain (one of the South Africa and Africa’s top tourist destinations) was identified as one of 440 magnificent natural sites selected by the New 7 Wonders Foundation to enter the three-phase New 7 Wonders of Nature contest. In the second phase, Table Mountain made the 77 site shortlist before being publicly voted onto a final shortlist of 28 sites in July 2009. Today Cape Town’s famous landmark has been selected as one of the final 7 wonders.
If you voted for Table Mountain as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, give yourself a pat on the back. Table Mountain, Cape Town and South Africa can anticipate global attention with the New 7 Wonders of the World accolade. The New 7 Man Made Wonders (voted for in 2007) has become part of school curricula globally. If the same thing happens to the New 7 Wonders of Nature, children from every corner of the world could be learning about Table Mountain, Cape Town and South Africa as a destination.
In an independent impact report conducted by a leading tourism hospitality and leisure research company (Grant Thornton), a prediction was made that a R1.4 billion annual tourism return could be expected for South Africa. This projection was based on the on the New 7 Man Made Wonders (which got 100 million votes globally) and Grant Thornton estimates that tourism to Table Mountain (and the Mother City) could increase by approximately 20%, (which will result in the generation of employment opportunities).
In early November 2011 Cape Town Tourism launched a new brand and marketing campaign for the Mother City at the World Travel Market in London. The new campaign communicates every facet of what Cape Town has to offer, from tourism and design, business and studies, to the rich diversity of people and it’s natural assets. The campaign forms part of a comprehensive marketing strategy for the Mother City aimed at growing the demand for Cape Town by speaking to a wider audience in new and established international and domestic markets, and also aligning with other sectors beyond tourism, complementing the city and region’s broader economic strategy and aligning with the mandate of the soon-to-be-established Economic Development Partnership (EDP). Cape Town Tourism has also partnered with Johannesburg Tourism and Durban Tourism in a joint domestic marketing agreement that will offer affordable product and destination packages to and within these South African cities, as well as more robust event calendars across the board.
The campaign also gave South Africans the chance to learn more about the mountain. Before the campaign, many people may not have known that:
- Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains on the planet, estimated to be around 360 million years old.
- It was named a World Heritage Site in 2004 as part of the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest and richest of the only six floral kingdoms on the planet.
- Table Mountain supports natural forest and indigenous fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds, including 8 200 rare and endangered plant species.
- Table Mountain is the only terrestrial feature on our planet to have a constellation named after it. The Southern constellation of Mensa (originally known as Mons Mensae – Latin for “the table mountain”) was named in 1754 after the increasingly world-famous landmark in the then “Cape of Good Hope”.
- Table Mountain is a recognised as a global icon, visited by millions of people each year and attracting the attention of royalty, sports stars and Hollywood celebrities. It is one of the most photographed sites in Africa.
The Official New 7 Wonders of Nature contest aims to raise awareness of the diversity and beauty of nature around us. Candidates must be clearly defined natural sites that have neither been created nor significantly altered by man. The awareness and tourism income generated through the New 7 Wonders campaign will ensure that these natural treasures are better preserved for future generations.
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