Experts predicted that the city’s economy was likely to receive an injection of close to R300 million over the Easter weekend – similar to last year – following a booming four days of trading.
Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the city’s Easter weekend activities, such as the Two Oceans Marathon, were good for the economy as the race extended the Western Cape’s tourism season.
“It benefits the whole province as well as the country. People come from all over the world, and taking part in the race surrounded by television cameras means they see our beautiful province and country. The tourism and hospitality industry benefits greatly, but also the retail sector,” Myburgh said.
Two Oceans Marathon general manager Carol Vosloo said a study conducted by Dr Martinette Kruger, of North West University, in 2013 showed that the economic impact of the marathon on the city amounted to R266m.
Two years ago, the race also had one of its highest entry figures, with 11 065 runners taking part in the 56km race, while 16 967 participated in the half-marathon.
“We receive approximately 2 000 international entries every year,” said Vosloo.
Last year, the Two Oceans Marathon made a significant contribution to the local economy of R266m.
Mayco member for tourism, events and economic development Garreth Bloor said the economic spin-offs of large events that attract domestic and international participants held enormous benefits for the city and its residents.
“The ripple effect by way of job creation and the increased visitor spending in the city, coupled with the need for local associated services that benefit directly from these events, are all a welcome injection into the local economy,” he said.
At this year’s event, 83 countries were represented in the race and 50 000 visitors attended the pre-event expo. The media coverage was valued at being worth R10m to showcase the 27 000 runners who took part in the race.
Cape Town Tourism spokeswoman Nicole Biondi said the organisation surveyed 53 of its members (tourism businesses) leading up to the Easter weekend.
“These businesses included tour operators, tour guides, car hire companies, restaurants, wine farms and smaller attractions.
“About 81 percent of them forecasted they would have more or less the same volume of business this Easter weekend as last year.”
AfriBusiness chief executive Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg said that because Cape Town was a popular destination for tourists over the Easter holiday, it would boost the city’s economy.
He said there was especially an influx of visitors to the Kruger National Park and coastal provinces such as the Western Cape.
Families usually extended their holidays after events like the Two Oceans Marathon, which meant they spent even more on entertainment and food in the city during this period.