Over the past year the efforts of Cape Town Air Access (a division within Wesgro), and a partnership between the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro, has led to the addition of 47 000 direct seats between Istanbul and Cape Town with Turkish Airlines.
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said the following, "The increased flights the team has secured has led to a definite increase in arrivals from Turkey. Travel data company ForwardKeys has estimated that there has been a 192% year on year increase in the amount of bookings made by Turkish visitors for the November 2016 – April 2017 period.”
The Wesgro team met with travel trade, media and buyers from the region who expressed a great interest in selling the Cape to their clients and listed our unique offering of arts and craft, food and wine, scenic attractions, cycling and weddings as top selling points. The market also showed a great interest in travelling between April and September, a period during which the tourism industry generally experiences a slow-down.
It was also the first time that South Africa participated at the fair and the Wesgro-led delegation was joined by the South African Embassy to further identify and establish potential tourism and investment opportunities for the Cape. Tamer Taskin, South African Honorary Consul also assisted in facilitating a number of key engagements for the delegation.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said the following. “Leveraging partnership with the travel trade and our Embassy in Middle Eastern markets such as Turkey to increase arrivals to the Western Cape is pivotal in meeting Project Khulisa’s job creation target of up to 100 000 in the tourism industry over the next five years.”
Project Khulisa is a set of economic initiatives been driven by the Western Cape Government.
During the fair Wesgro's stall was visited by the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism, Nabi Avci and the Mayor of Izmir, Aziz Kocaoglu.
Mayor Kocaoglu and Tamer Taskin will visit Cape Town in March next year on an official visit hosted by the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille to build on the successful engagements Wesgro facilitated in Turkey.