Like all James Bond novels, the new Carte Blanche takes the world's favourite spy all over the world, but Cape Town in particular is expecting a boost in interest.
Carte Blanche, launched last week by Royal Marine Commandos at London's resplendent international rail terminal St Pancras, is the 37th James Bond novel, written by American crime writer Jeffrey Deaver.
It takes secret agent 007 from London to Serbia and Dubai, but much of the story is focused on the activities of Bond's grotesque antagonist Severan Hydt in South Africa, some excellent news for Cape Town's tourism authorities.
Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, the CEO of Cape Town Tourism, says that Deaver's choice is an “acknowledgement of the inspirational setting of Cape Town.”
Readers are treated to a brief history of South Africa, as well as being introduced to several cultural aspects such as famous singers and local wines by Deaver, who has been visiting Cape Town for ten years.
Of course, while the book itself is good exposure, it's nothing compared to the possibility of a film version of Carte Blanche, which would see Deaver's work adapted for a global audience of millions.
Denis Lillie, CEO of the Cape Film Commission, believes that a film version will be forthcoming, although it's unclear when that would be - production of the next movie, Bond 23, was suspended in 2010 and is now not due for release until December 2012.
“We were very excited that the latest Bond novel has been set in Cape Town as it is inevitable that the book will be made into a movie, and this means filming in the city,” he said.
“Bond films are classics, and with this new novel added to the catalogue, it would be repeatedly broadcast on TV and in homes across the globe for decades to come, showcasing Cape Town again and again.”
The latest coup comes on top of last year's Fifa World Cup, which was hailed as an overwhelming success for the South African hosts, long before Fifa's present corruption scandal.
A spokesperson for Cape Town tourism told Relaxnews that the tournament “gave us a chance to showcase Cape Town’s beauty, creativity and design aspects to the rest of the world.”
Arrivals rose 13 percent year-on-year according to figures from the city's airport, while new construction and investment projects helped to dramatically improve the city's transport network.
How to see Cape Town like Bond:
- Drive along the mountainous Victoria Road alongside the coast
- Visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned
- Eat at Le Quartier Francais, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Franschhoek (an area Bond describes as “the most beautiful spot on (sic) the Western Cape”)
- Sample ’Sambal sauce’ as well as sosaties, yellow rice and 'marog spinach' in the cultural Bo-Kaap area
- Stay at Cape Grace, the inspiration for “Table Mountain Hotel” - The Independent