Cradle of Human Culture to be launched in China at Asia Pacific Roadshow 2019

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Cradle of Human Culture to be launched in China at Asia Pacific Roadshow 2019
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Cradle of Human Culture to be launched in China at Asia Pacific Roadshow 2019
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24 June 2019

Hosted on the South African Tourism platform, the media launches will be held in Beijing today, 24 June 2019, and Shanghai on 28 June 2019. More than 100 members of the media are expected to attend these two events.

The Cradle of Human Culture was launched in South Africa on 11 April 2019 at the World Travel Market Africa, in partnership between Wesgro’s DMO, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

If the Cradle of Humankind was the biological development that led to the appearance of Homo sapiens, the Cradle of Human Culture captures the behavioural development of Homo sapiens.

The South African sites of Blombos Cave, Pinnacle Point Site Complex, Diepkloof Rock Shelter in the Western Cape; Klasies River in the Eastern Cape and Border Cave and Sibudu Cave in KwaZulu-Natal, have contributed outstanding evidence of palaeo-environmental conditions and the evolution of early humans.

The three sites in the Western Cape are in the process of being nominated World Heritage Sites and form the basis of new routes that allow travellers to experience this incredible journey of early human evolution. The routes can be found via the dedicated website: Dykman, Head of Wesgro’s Leisure Tourism Unit said: “Our research indicates that the Chinese travel market are highly influenced to travel to destinations that have attractive heritage and cultural sites, and even more so, if accredited by UNESCO. With a direct flight between Hong Kong and Cape Town, and Chinese travellers to the Western Cape increasing by double-digits in 2018, we believe the newly launched Cradle of Human Culture will provide yet another reason for the Chinese traveller to visit our beautiful province and country.”

Our Research Unit’s recent “Tourism Market Insights – China” report indicate that 57 868 Chinese tourists visited the Western Cape in 2018, up from 36 710 in 2017. Moreover, Chinese tourists spent R450 million in the Western Cape in 2017, up from R378 million in 2016. The average spend of a tourist more than doubled from R6 600 in 2016 to R13 300 in 2017.

Minister David Maynier, Western Cape MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities said: “This growth is definitely welcomed, but if one considers that China accounts for the most outbound travellers in the world, these numbers are still far too small. We are hopeful that changes to the visa regime, with the introduction of e-visas will help increase traveller numbers from China even further. Other initiatives, such as the Cradle of Human Culture, which appeals to the Chinese traveller will also help. This is why these media launches this week are key. We wish both the Wesgro tourism team and South African Tourism the best of luck this week."

Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais added, “Considering the increasing number of Chinese visitors to the Western Cape and the expanding relationship between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, there is a growing need to collaborate on a cultural level to highlight the heritage landscapes of both countries. This very significant launch is one platform used to promote the Cradle of Human Culture as it captures the behavioural development of Homo sapiens before the global diaspora ensued and speaks to the journey of human expression and humanity itself. We have made great strides in establishing meaningful sustainable partnerships that has set the innovative scene rendering the Western Cape the leading cultural destination of South Africa. We trust this launch will advocate a common human ancestry which is much needed in the current global socio-political climate which will undoubtedly ease further collaboration with the Asia Pacific region”.

Commenting on the launch, Mansoor Mohamed, Hub Head of Asia Pacific for South African Tourism concluded: “South Africa is becoming a world class ‘China Ready’ destination by working closely with South African Travel Trade Partners. Trade partners are important to us. South African Tourism is committed to strengthening provincial partnerships to provide tailored experiences to Chinese travellers in South Africa, I strongly believe that Wesgro’s classic product - Cradle of Human Culture, will provide a great culture route for Chinese travellers in South Africa, and an opportunity to promote Cape Town and Western Cape as a competitive business and travel destination nationally and internationally.”

Issued by Wesgro's Media Team, 24 June 2019