Cape Town was named ‘Africa’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’ at the 2020 World Travel Awards on Friday. This as Cape Town readies to host several international events. Executive Mayor Dan Plato and Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security Alderman JP Smith made the announcement at the V&A Waterfront earlier today. Read more below:

Cape Town has previously been awarded the prestigious title in 2018 and 2019 and is thrilled to receive it for the third consecutive year. For this year’s voting process, Cape Town was up against Accra, Durban, Johannesburg, Kigali, Lagos, Marrakech, Nairobi and Rabat.

‘For the City of Cape Town, it is really an honour to once again be voted as the leading festival and events capital of Africa. The fact that Cape Town has won this award for three years in a row, is testament to the hard work by various event organisers working with the City, our partner stakeholders, and our Events Department’s unwavering support for the industry. Cape Town offers so much for an event organiser: location, scenery, affordability, and quality infrastructure. This provides the ideal setting. It is clear COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the sector, but we are looking ahead to revitalise the industry. We have begun implementing a strategy aimed at rejuvenating the events sector as we navigate our way beyond this pandemic,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.

In spite of the global outbreak of COVID-19, the City maintains its position that events are important for a host of reasons, including social cohesion, economic growth and job creation.

‘It is in this regard that, on the back of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, we have put together an events recovery plan to re-establish this city as an events capital. We believe events will be key in revitalising the economy going forward,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

As the safety of all those in attendance at events is the priority, the Events Department has developed a new Standard Operating Procedures document as a specific guide for event organisers to a safe environment.

‘We are engaging the various event organisers during this period to discuss dates, the scale and event footprints to ensure that these events are in line with the current national regulations.

‘We want to ensure that the integrity of all events is maintained and that events are hosted by the safest means possible for all in attendance during these challenging times,’ said Alderman JP Smith.

Last month, Cape Town successfully hosted the Miss South Africa grand finale for the first time in the competition’s six-decade history, the first ever hybrid Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon and is playing host to a reimagined Suidoosterfees this month.

This international accolade signals a new start as the events industry surges towards recovery.

The Events Permit Office has already received 80 new event applications since the announcement of Alert Level 1 in late September.

In addition, the Mother City will host new and exciting international events in 2021 and 2022. This will culminate in the 2023 Netball World Cup.

Other major events include: 

  • 2021 – Best of Cape Town (a five-day Art, Food and Wine festival)
  • 2021 – Senior Masters World Cup (Hockey)
  • 2021 – Cape Town Cycle Tour
  • 2021 – The Cape Town Surf Pro
  • 2021 – Lion’s Tour
  • 2021 – Brick Live Exhibition (interactive family event and brick-filled exhibition)
  • 2022 – Rugby World Cup Sevens


Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town