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Mother City plans to boost winter tourism

Millions flock to Cape Town during summer but the city is now looking for creative ways to boost visitor numbers during the winter months, with plans to host an international design and performing arts festival.

Over the festive season more than five million people visited the city’s “Big Six” attractions – the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point and Groot Constantia.

Kirstenbosch, now one of the world's top seven botanical gardens and celebrating its centenary this year, was a derelict farm when it was bought by mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes and bequeathed to the nation on his death. Picture: Rogan Ward. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

While the city is confident that tourism figures will remain high during summer, it hopes to expand the winter calendar of attractions.

The city is in talks with partners to host an international design festival planned for June to take place primarily at the City Hall.

Mayco member for tourism and events Grant Pascoe said: “We are still working on the plans but we need to start being creative with our winter seasons. The weather should never be a deterrent to hosting events. We have a bumper summer season with a whole lot of things happening and we need to generate an all-year round calendar of events to sustain our tourism industry.”

In March the city will launch the Summer Festival in Langa which will be a series of Saturday afternoon concerts and other attractions.

The city has also started talks around plans for an international performing arts festival in winter.

“These events are being considered with the World Design Capital 2014 in mind, during which Cape Town will seek to stand out as one of the leading design and creative centres in Africa and beyond,” Pascoe said. - Cape Times

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