CAPE TOWN AND THE WESTERN CAPE NEEDS TOURISM NOW MORE THAN EVER

Tourism Guide Africa - - CONTENTS -

This is crit­i­cal. In­ter­na­tional press coverage of the drought, and on the prospects of “Day Zero”, has caused anx­i­ety amongst for­eign trav­ellers. We have re­ceived con­cerned calls from the tourism trade, as trav­el­ers’ ques­tion whether they should visit Cape Town now, and even book for it in the fu­ture.

One of the key con­cerns noted by po­ten­tial tourists who are con­sid­er­ing Cape Town, and which is also echoed by some cit­i­zens, is that they would make the sit­u­a­tion wa­ter worse if they vis­ited our re­gion. We be­lieve that this is not only in­cor­rect, but that the op­po­site is true. Not vis­it­ing Cape Town and the Western Cape now would only make this chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion worse.

THIS IS WHY:

Dur­ing peak sea­son, in­ter­na­tional tourists only add 1% to the pop­u­la­tion of the en­tire Western Cape Prov­ince on av­er­age. Th­ese tourists on av­er­age only spend a few days in Cape Town, and then travel to other parts of the prov­ince, and then up north to at­trac­tions such as the Kruger Na­tional Park. Many ho­tel es­tab­lish­ments are tak­ing the lead in dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing wa­ter con­sump­tion.

The tourism in­dus­try has led the way in re­duc­ing the con­sump­tion of wa­ter by tourists, en­sur­ing that each tourist “saves like a lo­cal”. Tsogo Sun, the largest ho­tel group in the Cape, has cut their con­sump- tion of wa­ter by 40%.

De­spite this ex­tremely small ad­di­tion to the pop­u­la­tion size, tourism sup­ported 206 000 di­rect jobs, 55 763 in­di­rect jobs and 56 243 in­duced jobs. There­fore in to­tal, tourism sup­ports over 300 000 jobs across the Western Cape.

As a re­sult of th­ese vis­i­tors, R38 bil­lion was added to our econ­omy in 2017. If one cal­cu­lates for­eign di­rect spend by vis­i­tors, vis­i­tors spent R9.9 bil­lion in the Western Cape in the first half of 2017 alone. This was an 8.8% growth. Tourism is a ma­jor sec­tor of our pro­vin­cial econ­omy, and it is grow­ing faster than any other sec­tor in the coun­try – even dur­ing pe­ri­ods of re­ces­sion.

Tourism stim­u­lates growth in small towns and ru­ral ar­eas in the Western Cape. Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by Wes­gro, 30 of 36 lo­cal tourism of­fices in­ter­viewed out­side of Cape Town reg­is­tered an in­crease in tourist ar­rivals in De­cem­ber 2017. There are ar­eas in the Western Cape where the im­pact of the drought is not as se­vere, and where tourism is des­per­ately needed for eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation.

The drought has had a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the agri­cul­tural sec­tor since last year. Thou­sands of jobs have al­ready been lost. Tourism can as­sist in shoul­der­ing this im­pact espe­cially in the smaller towns. If we en­cour­age tourism dur­ing this time, and high­light the many at­trac­tions

CAPE TOWN AND THE WESTERN CAPE ARE OPEN FOR BUSI­NESS, AND READY TO WEL­COME VIS­I­TORS TO OUR BEAU­TI­FUL CITY AND PROV­INCE. WE NEED TOURISM NOW MORE THAN EVER, AS WE AIM TO KEEP OUR ECON­OMY GROW­ING AND CRE­AT­ING JOBS DUR­ING THIS CHAL­LENG­ING DROUGHT.

that ex­ist across our beau­ti­ful prov­ince, we can con­tinue to stim­u­late growth in the Cape.

Events, which at­tract vis­i­tors to Cape Town and many places across the Western Cape, add this to this eco­nomic ben­e­fit. The Cape Town Cy­cle Tour, for ex­am­ple, con­trib­utes half a bil­lion rands to the Cape econ­omy. If events like th­ese be­come wa­ter-neu­tral, as the Cy­cle Tour has, they can con­tinue to pro­vide a pos­i­tive ben­e­fit. In the past fi­nan­cial year (2016/2017), Wes­gro sup­ported over 30 re­gional events out­side of Cape Town. This re­sulted in 150 000 ad­di­tional vis­i­tors to th­ese re­gions, and the cre­ation of 1600 tem­po­rary jobs. Dur­ing this same

year, the 33 bids won by the Cape Town and Western Cape Con­ven­tion Bu­reau for con­fer­ences, meet­ings, in­cen­tives and ex­hi­bi­tions will have an eco­nomic ben­e­fit of nearly R500 mil­lion.

The knock-on ef­fect would be felt across South Africa. Cape Town, and its sur­round­ing ar­eas, is the “crown jewel” in the over­all South African tourism of­fer, and if it falls off the travel list, South Africa may fall off the con­sid­er­a­tion list too. Vis­i­tors might start in Cape Town, but many travel to the many other beau­ti­ful at­trac­tions that our coun­try has on of­fer.

Western Cape Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic Op­por­tu­ni­ties, Alan Winde said: “We’ve worked hard to build our tourism des­ti­na­tion into the award win­ning sec­tor it is to­day: Cape Town has won the Tele­graph Best City award for five con­sec­u­tive years and is rou­tinely voted as a top tourist des­ti­na­tion in other read­ers’ choice polls. Our air­port is the best in Africa. Th­ese polls are voted for by our vis­i­tors, and re­flect the ex­cel­lent ex­pe­ri­ences they have had here. We work tire­lessly to up­hold this rep­u­ta­tion and en­sure that all vis­i­tors to our shores are able to leave with only pos­i­tive sto­ries to re­count. We urge vis­i­tors to make sure Cape Town is on their im­me­di­ate bucket list, but to use wa­ter re­spon­si­bly while they are vis­it­ing us. Sav­ing wa­ter in Cape Town means sav­ing jobs in Cape Town.”

Wes­gro CEO, Tim Har­ris said: “The num­bers are clear. Vis­i­tors add an enor­mous value to our prov­ince, even when they make up a tiny pro­por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion. They sus­tain liveli­hoods, and they stim­u­late growth even dur­ing chal­leng­ing eco­nomic times. We are for­tu­nate enough to live in ar­guably the most beau­ti­ful re­gion on earth, and we must em­pha­sise this now more than ever. We urge res­i­dents to wel­come tourists dur­ing this time, so that they can help our econ­omy grow. And we want to let vis­i­tors know that you are most wel­come, but when you visit, be mind­ful of the drought and help us save wa­ter. If we work to­gether in this way, we can avoid Day Zero, main­tain our econ­omy, and con­tinue to sup­port and cre­ate jobs across the Cape and South Africa.”

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