3 September 2021
The City of Cape Town has marked the start of Tourism Month with the announcement of several campaigns and strategies aimed at revitalising the key sector.
Speaking at the City Hall’s revamped Visitor Information Centre, a walk-in space boasting interactive screens where people and business groups can engage with products and experiences, Mayoral Committee for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, said the goal of inclusive growth was the driving force of the directorate.
“The sector contributed nearly 3% – or ZAR130 billion – to GDP in 2018 and 4,5% of those employed in South Africa worked in the tourism industry while 113 000 tourism jobs were held in Cape Town in that year. And that is not even taking into account the indirect value of tourism to other industries such as retail and manufacturing.
“Now consider that the volumes of tourists countrywide decreased by 72,6% from 10,2 million in 2019 to 2,8 million in 2020. This makes clear that tourism is everybody’s business,” said Alderman Vos.
Through funding to partners such as the official Destination Marketing Organisation, Cape Town Tourism (CTT), Alderman Vos said the City was able to maintain vital awareness of the Mother City, stay connected with travellers before, during, and after their visit, and simultaneously empower local industry businesses with access to information, networking opportunities, exposure, and more.
Alderman Vos further highlighted actions already taken in the last year and a half, namely the Tourism Bounce Back Strategy and the Six-Pillar Destination Marketing & Communication Initiative positioning Cape Town as the premier destination in Africa to Visit, Live, Work, Study, Play and Invest.
Under the umbrella of the strategy, the City has:
Turning to next steps, the City’s economic opportunities mayoral member laid out a series of interlinked goals to realise inclusive growth, including:
Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, said that, on reflection of the past 18 months, the organisation had identified three high-level needs of businesses in the industry: marketing, increasing international demand, and financial support.
“At CTT, we have looked at first addressing the financial support to SMMEs. As such, we’re offering free membership until the end of this financial year. That of course comes with access to our research, network and exposure opportunities,” said Duminy.
Asked about when he expected the industry to recover, Duminy said it must start immediately. “We need to focus on our key source markets. This means we need to play and hunt smarter in terms of our marketing in order to see that conversion from potential to actual tourists.”
The month will also include activations at various tourism and hospitality service providers in Langa, Mitchells Plain, Kirstenbosch, Khayelitsha, Woodstock as well as visits to schools to encourage Cape Town’s future entrepreneurs to understand the value of tourism and socially investing in their city home.
“Let’s face it: Covid-19 has changed everything. Most of us have had to make drastic changes to the way we live, work and play and brought into stark relief the challenges that have long rocked our country.
“But we can recover. With the tailwinds of innovation, collaboration and positivity pushing us, we can break barriers and create a more inclusive tourism industry that will fly higher than ever. But it will require us as government and industry leaders to radically reimagine how we work together, and reimagine what we offer to travellers looking for an experience they will not get anywhere else. There is no time to waste,” concluded Alderman Vos.