World Tourism Month update

As we celebrate World Tourism Month in September, I would like to remind you to submit your comments on the Western Cape provincial government’s proposal to centralise the way in which Cape Town is marketed as a tourism destination. Thank you to all who have already given your input. We have collated your comments and observations and forwarded them to the member of the executive council (MEC) and the City of Cape Town for consideration.

Please email or email the MEC directly and have your say on what you think the best solution would be. The final deadline for comments to be submitted to the office of the MEC is September 30, 2010.

We held our quarterly Joint Association Members Meeting Session on September 15, 2010 as part of our World Tourism Month programme. Cape Town Tourism, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa for the Cape (FEDHASA), South African Tourism Services Association Western Cape (SATSA) and South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) jointly hosted a facilitated industry think-tank on “Leveraging the World Cup to build a sustainable year-round tourism destination”. The session delivered some robust debate on what we can maintain and sustain with regard to tourism going into the next decade and beyond. Read a summary of the event here.

The World Tourism Organization theme for 2010 is “Tourism and Biodiversity”. Cape Town is a global urban biodiversity hotspot without parallel and it is therefore highly appropriate for us to look at the key role that tourism has to play in nurturing our fragile environment.

We are placing increasing emphasis on sustainable living, and the balance between the environment, the community and the economy, and how that balance is maintained. It is essential to create not just awareness, but a real desire among Capetonians and visitors alike to protect, conserve and celebrate our environment so that it is there for future generations.

Responsible and sustainable tourism should be entrenched in everything that we, as an industry, do and stand for. We need to lead by example, examining our own impact on our world and putting in place responsible organisational practices.

We should now, more than ever before, find ways to develop tourism without negatively affecting the environment and communities, and repay what we have borrowed from the planet.

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