26 July 2010
Journalists from across the world have hailed Cape Town as one of the world’s friendliest and most beautiful cities, according to a report compiled by the city’s tourism agency.
Cape Town Tourism interacted with 750 international journalists during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, taking them on a number of tours to show them the various faces of the city, the organisation’s chief executive Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, said during the release of the report last week.
‘World in one city’
Freelance journalist Vincent de Vries from the Netherlands said the best of the world could be found in Cape Town.
“I have been everywhere, from Mongolia to Vancouver, from Beijing to Rio de Janeiro, but my visit to Cape Town, during the World Cup Soccer, where I stayed for more than five weeks, ruined my ambition to see the whole world in 10 years,” De Vries said in the report.
“Why? Because I fell in love with the Mother City! Now I don’t have to travel around the world any more, because Cape Town is the world.
“The V&A Waterfront is like Europe, the food is perfect like in Asia, the weather is fantastic like South-America, the people are as friendly as in Australia and the ambitions are as high as in the USA,” De Vries said. “I fell in love with this marvellous city and will return time and time again.”
‘A truly special place’
Duncan Castles, who writes for Britain’s The Observer, said he had travelled and lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, but had never been to a city that made such an immediate impression on him.
“The setting is breathtaking, and waking up each morning to Table Mountain’s flitting mood is a joy,” Castles said in the report. “Then you add in the friendliness of the people, the quality of the food and wine, and Cape Town’s sense of fun, and you have a truly special place.”
Edward Lawrence of CBS TV Network in the US said he had initially had a “huge fear” of visiting South Africa because he had always heard that it was dangerous for American tourists, but that his urge to see the World Cup had made him throw caution to the wind.
“From the time I stepped off the plane in Cape Town, I felt welcomed by the people there – from the cab drivers to the bed-and-breakfast owners,” said Lawrence. “I was able to take advantage of being a tourist in Cape Town, and it was amazing. I saw and experienced so much and will definitely return to Cape Town.”
Zheng Daojin of Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, described Cape Town as “one of the most beautiful places on earth … My impression of the beauty, of the nature and the people of this city will stay with me forever. Thank you for the most fantastic time.”
Andres Kudacki, a photographer and filmmaker from Argentina described the city as “amazing … It is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, and I was surprised and amazed during my stay here. From the Waterfront to Khayelitsha – I loved each part of Cape Town.”