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Direct flight to NY to boost jobs, tourism

About 900 jobs in the first year, as well as a significant increase in travellers and tourism spend, are on the cards for the Mother City, thanks to a new direct flight route between Cape Town and New York.

The City’s mayor, Dan Plato, and Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management, James Vos, welcomed the first direct flights from New York which touched down at the Cape Town International Airport on Monday 16 December.

Plato said the new direct route, serviced by United Airlines, holds great potential for the Mother City with an additional 24 000 inbound passengers from New York. “About 900 jobs will be created during the first year and travellers from the USA will grow by an estimated 20%. The direct flights will also contribute to an approximate R421 million boost in tourism spend by 2021. This is great news for Cape Town and its residents.”

The City’s tourism supports 300 000 jobs and both Plato and Vos said they were excited about its growth prospects.

As the first citizen of the City, Plato said it was an honour to welcome the maiden flight direct from New York.

The aviation economy is a key driver of growth through tourism and trade. In supporting this objective, the City provides funding to the air access initiative which is mandated to expand current flight routes and to secure new routes to boost tourism and trade. Since its launch in 2015, this initiative contributed to the success of securing 16 new routes, 22 route expansions and increased the international seat capacity to 1.5 million two-way seats.

Vos said his priority for the past year has been to position his portfolio as the growth directorate of the City. “We focus our energy on attracting investment which creates jobs and leads to economic growth. My department’s strategy is to connect Cape Town with key destinations in Africa and, globally, to attract more tourism and trade opportunities,” Vos said.

“I look forward to working even harder in 2020 and to grow the aviation economy, increase business and leisure tourism, connect Cape Town to more countries and export more proudly Cape Town products to the rest of the world in collaboration with our strategic business partners,” he continued.

The shared marketing agreement between Cape Town Tourism and the New York tourism body, the NYC & Company, increases the visibility of Cape Town as a global destination and ensures that the city continues to be the go-to city on the African continent and globally for business, trade and tourism.

Plato said the City will continue to build on these successes by working with industries and strategic partners to invest in projects and programmes that will drive demand and make business sense.

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