Monday 1st Mar 2021

Statement by Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities & Asset Management

The City of Cape Town has announced a ten-point tourism strategy to get the sector back on its feet.

For destinations to succeed, they need to constantly reinvent, while incorporating the unique assets, the authenticity of their products and experiences all within a safe environment. With the City’s ten-point tourism strategy, we aim to help breathe life back into this vital sector to assist in bringing about economic recovery, just like we’ve done many times before.

A few months ago, we put together the Tourism Task Team to support the tourism and hospitality industry through these tough times while also focusing on future prospects. The Team enjoys high level support from across the sector as well as our official destination marketing organisation, Cape Town Tourism.

I am pleased to say that we are constantly looking at global best practice to implement measures to drive the various stages of recovery and readiness, as well as campaigns to stimulate supply and demand for specific key source markets such as domestic travel until international travel is restored.

Our ten-point strategy includes the following:

  • Adapt and implement the Comprehensive Tourism Bounce Back plan developed between the City of Cape Town and the City’s Official Destination Marketing organisation, Cape Town Tourism (CTT).
  • Assist the Tourism Industry by unlocking immediate relief measures to address the severe cash flow crisis many tourism businesses currently face, in a bid to help as many as possible stay afloat, thereby ensuring as many of them survive until substantial demand finally returns. This includes lobbying for extended UIF-TERS relief from national government, rescheduling their municipal arrears to reduce the current financial burden, continuing to offer guesthouses the option to be reclassified as residential so as to reduce their rates bill, and waiving of lease payments by companies renting property from the City.
  • Continue to lobby National Government to responsibly ease the current COVID-19 restrictions that are making it difficult for tourism and hospitality establishments to operate in a financially sustainable manner.
  • CTT, along with its industry partners, will continue to drive its successful domestic tourism campaigns to generate local demand for the tourism industry. These will run alongside the destination marketing campaign by the City of Cape Town. Currently, two campaigns are being run by CTT and the City of Cape Town’s Place Marketing unit is running a destination marketing campaign in nine airports across South Africa.
  • Continue to leverage all of our strategic partnerships and agreements to ensure connectivity and demand flows to Cape Town. This includes continued funding for the Air Access initiative to renew, retain and grow air access into Cape Town, Cape Town Cruise Initiative, as well as city to city agreements.
  • Ensuring Cape Town is a safe tourism destination by communicating, informing and empowering tourism establishments to implement all COVID-19 regulations. This is being carried out through daily communications from CTT and partners, webinars, the Travelwise website, and the promotion of the safe travel stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
  • Ensure that Cape Town stays top of mind in key source markets via targeted social media messaging and social media monitoring to establish and respond to changing traveller demands. The City of Cape Town, along with CTT, will continue to produce content for International Marketing campaigns that will be rolled out when the international tourism environment proves conducive to the launching of such a campaign.  These campaigns include Remote Work positioning to attract Digital Nomads, International Campaign: At one with Nature, and #thisiscapetown
  • The City of Cape Town will work alongside CTT to identify and develop new tourism products that can diversify our offering as a tourism destination. These will include community routes development currently taking place in Langa, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Bo-Kaap.
  • Promote Cape Town as a resilient and responsible tourism destination under the City of Cape Town’s Responsible Tourism strategy. This will include the acknowledgement and promotion of those establishments in implementing applicable responsible tourism standards.
  • The City of Cape Town will continue to find innovative ways to roll out the schools tourism programme that is fostering a tourism mind-set among our youth, both as a destination and as a potential career option for them.

We need tourism to work and thrive to keep on supporting businesses and creating employment opportunities. To do this, we will incorporate technology and innovation in our product development and destination marketing strategies.

This ten-point strategy is a multi-pronged approach to help the tourism industry survive in the challenging weeks and months ahead as we get to grips with the evolving nature of a new reality, adapt quickly and think creatively.  Secondly, it is imperative that tourism reclaim its status as a significant and integral driver of employment and economic benefits for the residents and businesses of Cape Town.

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