Table Mountain a Winner
After campaigning furiously to Vote for Table Mountain in the garden city Cape Town, South Africa, as becoming one of the spectacular “New7Wonders of Nature”… and a really close run with some of the many uniquely beautiful places on our cherished planet Earth, I was enthralled to hear that the famous backdrop and landmark at the Southern tip of Africa, Table Mountain, became a Winner! YEBO YOOHOOO… and this from a list of initially 440 candidates starting in December 2008… almost 3 years ago!
While I grew up directly on the slopes of Table Mountain, I now live in Noordhoek – basically the backside of the Table Mountain range. Above is a photo I took from Silvermine Nature Reserve towards Table Mountain, showing the flowering leucadendron and protea that all form part of this rare and so-called “…smallest and richest floral kingdom of the world”.
Table Mountain a Winner
WOW! Just after becoming World Design City 2014 a week or so ago… now we have Table Mountain a Winner! I am definitely feeling “Proudly South African”! Have a look at the video leading up to this wonderful result:
Tremendous Opportunities for Cape Town
If you think… “Well, vote for Table Mountain – what’s the big deal here?”… better think twice as there are truly tremendous opportunities for Cape Town!
As Patricia de Lille said: “”If Table Mountain is officially recognised as a natural wonder, it will cement that unique offering to the world. Tremendous benefits await us if we all do our part and come together.”
Well – as it seems we all did our part and came together in stiff competition from other magic places like:
- the Dead Sea,
- the Grand Canyon in the USA,
- Australia’s Great Barrier Reef,
- Vietnam’s Halong Bay,
- Jeita Grotto in Lebanon,
- Jeju Island in South Korea,
- the Indonesian island of Komodo,
- Puerto Princesa underground river in the Philippines,
- Sundarbans delta at the mouth of the Ganges river,
- and Italy’s Mount Vesuvius
Here’s wishing everyone can make “the list” as all are places of magic we wish to see once in our lives and want to leave as ‘intact’ as possible to future generations.
Personally, I am glad the underground river in the Philippines came out as a winner as well… a truly memorable place!
Now what are those tremendous opportunities for Cape Town?
First of all, there will be a serious economic impact – meaning money and employment.
According to an independent report done by Grant Thornton, a leading tourism hospitality and leisure research company, it was estimated that a R1.4 billion annual tourism return can be expected for South Africa. Basing their projections on the New7Man Made Wonders, in which 100 million votes were cast worldwide, Grant Thornton estimate that “…Tourism to Table Mountain, and thus Cape Town could increase by approximately 20%, resulting in the generation of employment opportunities.”
Also, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, noted: “We are very, very excited about this win! From being awarded the World Design Capital 2014 designation just a few weeks ago to Table Mountain being named one of the New7Wonders of Nature today, Cape Town and South Africa are standing proud! There are many benefits, but our biggest opportunity is job creation potential. In line with Cape Town Tourism’s new brand strategy for the city, we are working with individuals and companies on developing new, interesting and genuine tourism offerings to satisfy our changing travellers’ needs. With the anticipated increase in inbound travel to South Africa, and particularly to Cape Town, there are going to be increased entrepreneurial opportunities opening up.”
Besides, Cape Town Tourism launched a bold new brand and marketing campaign for the city at World Travel Market in London on 7 November7, 2011 , communicating every aspect of “… what the city has to offer, from tourism and design, business and studies, to the rich diversity of people and its natural assets. It forms part of a comprehensive marketing strategy for Cape Town aimed at growing the demand for the Mother City by speaking to a wider audience in new and established international and domestic markets whilst aligning with other sectors beyond tourism, complementing the city and region’s broader economic strategy and aligning with the mandate of the soon-to-be-established Economic Development Partnership (EDP). In addition, Cape Town Tourism has partnered with Johannesburg Tourism and Durban Tourism on a joint domestic marketing agreement that will offer affordable product and destination packages to and within these South African cities, as well as more robust event calendars across the board.”
As such the campaign itself also allowed South Africans to get much more informed about Table Mountain.
The oldest Mountain on the Planet
Did you know that Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains on the planet, estimated to be around 360 million years old?
Table Mountain World Heritage Site
Table Mountain was named a World Heritage Site in 2004 as part of the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest and richest of the only six floral kingdoms on the planet – see my photo above. It supports natural forest and indigenous fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds, including 8,200 rare and endangered plant species.
Table Mountain is the only terrestrial feature on our planet to have a constellation named after it. The Southern constellation Mensa (originally Mons Mensae – Latin for “the table mountain”), was named in 1754 after the increasingly world-famous landmark in the then “Cape of Good Hope”. It was a symbol of hope for freedom fighters jailed on Robben Island.
Table Mountain is a recognised as a global icon, visited by millions of people each year and attracting the attention of royalty – with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla currently visiting – , sports stars – like Michael Schumacher -, business tycoons like Richard Branson and Hollywood celebrities.
Table Mountain is one of the most photographed sites in Africa.
Congratulations - together we did it!