World Town Leadership Summit

IDA’s annual World Town Leadership Summit hosts a smaller group of place management leaders from around the globe who explore a key topic each year while learning about different approaches used in attendee countries based on culture and economic differences.

A diverse cohort of attendees will be enlightened by key research and inspired presentations, all aimed to initiate deep discussions while exploring real-world professional practice challenges using the world café discussion format. This facilitated summit develops a comprehensive graphic synopsis of the group’s discussion.

In 2020, the World Towns Leadership Summit will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, March 30 – April 3. The overarching theme will be “Economics of Tourism,” with undertones of how operations, equity and cultural diversity support – or hinder – a strong tourism economy.

Brought to you by IDA and organising partner Cape Town Central City Improvement District.

Conference Details

The 2020 World Towns Leadership Summit will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Registration is now open for the 2020 World Towns Leadership Summit. In order to register for the Summit, you need to either have an account in IDA’s new database or you must create one. If you previously registered for an event in the past, you should have an account in the new database. For instructions on logging in to your IDA account for the first time in the new system, please visit the Guide.

  • Regular Registration Rate: $350 until Thursday, March 5, 2020. The fee includes the conference, meals and reception.
  • Late Registration Rate: $420 until Thursday, March 19, 2020. The fee includes the conference, meals and reception.
  • Spouse / Guest Rate: $100 (includes all Summit activities).

All prices above are in USD.

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Cancellation Policy: Written notice of cancellation is required. Cancellations received via email by March 13, 2020 will receive a refund less a $100 processing fee. Refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the event. Cancellations received after March 13, 2020 will not be refunded. Please email the cancellation notification to IDA at

Payment Methods: For your convenience, payments may be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Should you need to pay by check, you will not be able to complete registration online. Please email for assistance.

Click here to book hotel accommodations with Southern Sun The Cullinan located at 1 Cullinan Street, Cape Town Waterfront, Cape Town, ZA, 8001. The attendee rate is ZAR 2,395 per night (rate includes breakfast and VAT. Rate excludes 1% tourism levy). Changes to your reservation may be made up until 7 days before your arrival. However, if you need to cancel your reservation, you must do so 30 days prior to arrival for a refund.

Conference Program

  • Monday 30 Mar 2020
  • Tuesday 31 Mar 2020
  • Wednesday 01 Apr 2020
  • Thursday 02 Apr 2020
  • Friday 03 Apr 2020

Monday 30 Mar 2020

  • The day will consist of both an inner-city downtown tour and a regional tour of the Cape Peninsula aboard open-top tour buses. Attendees and their guests will explore the Mother City and its surrounding areas, gaining a preliminary understanding of the city and the region which drives its robust tourism economy. Participants will enjoy lunch at an African restaurant at the renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and visit historical Groot Constantia Wine Estate, South Africa’s oldest wine-producing farm (which was established in1685), before returning to the city centre.

Tuesday 31 Mar 2020

  • Following the prior day’s introduction to the history and regional context of Cape Town, attendees will learn more about the dynamics of the city’s Tourism Industry before departing on a series of inner-city walking tours of key districts and culturally significant sites. Economic and social changes will be explored as the group begins to learn how this complex city continues to evolve in the 21st Century.
Morning Presentation:
  • Tourism strategy as well as the Water crisis ( Day Zero ) / Safety & Security and the impact on Tourism
Mobile Workshop:
  • Cape Town Historical Tours (Inner City) with dedicated tour guides Retail Hub, Hospitality Zone, the East City District, the V&A Waterfront, and the District Six Museum;
  • SunSquare hotel rooftop venue

Wednesday 01 Apr 2020

  • A robust tourism economy has increasingly become a core asset for cities throughout the world. As the experience economy continues to support growth in jobs in these destination communities, ensuring the areas are secure, clean, and welcoming remains a basis underpinning their continued success. Staff from Cape Town’s 43 CIDs will join the attendees of the morning session for a series of presentations and a networking lunch. In the afternoon, attendees will have time to collaborate and explore how the topics presented in the morning session apply or are prevalent in other global cities, and the impacts shaping the work of urban management organizations.
Morning Presentations:
  • SEON Security System;
  • Addressing Homelessness – Helsinki Finland;
  • A novel approach to fighting cigarette-butt litter: PMI South Africa’s Unsmoke campaign.
Afternoon CID Tours:
  • Voortrekker Road CID & GTP
  • Geocentric Operations – Management of multiple small CIDs
  • Claremont CID
  • Green Point CID
  • Sundowners at Signal Hill

Thursday 02 Apr 2020

  • The final day of the summit will seek to connect the dots and explore the key insights from the prior discussions. Led by integrated thinking on how public/private partnership models are evolving, attendees will weave together the drive for economic, social, and environment improvements which enable more holistic communities.
Morning Presentation:
  • Collaborative Leadership and Successful Partnerships
Lunch and Networking:
  • Township Tour(s)
  • East City Tour
Closing Event:
  • Experience the downtown city experience called “First Thursdays” in which the central city galleries, eateries and select retailers stay open until late on the first Thursday of every month.

Friday 03 Apr 2020

  • For assistance and ideas for on your own tours contact David Downey at
Suggested Opportunities – Local Cape Town:
  • Robben Island
  • Zeitz MOCAA Museum Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Table Mountain
  • Two Oceans Aquarium
  • Franschhoek & Stellenbosch Wine Tour
  • Underground Walking Tour of Central Business District
Suggested Opportunities – Western Cape Excursions:
  • Sea Point
  • Clifton
  • Camps Bay
  • Hout Bay (World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary & Monkey Park)
  • Cape Point
  • Aquila Private Game Reserve
Suggested Opportunities – South African City Excursions:
  • Visit Johannesburg, Durban or Pretoria

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Interested In Hosting?

If you are interested in hosting a future event, contact Carolyn Dellutri, IDA Director of Professional Development.

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For assistance or further information, please contact the IDA registration team.

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