These are some of the most frequently asked questions. We hope that they answer your query. If not, please email membership@capetown.travel and we will get back to you.

Who do I contact with questions?

Cape Town Tourism actively encourages interaction with all team members in our organisation. If you have a query, comment, suggestion, complaint or compliment, or just want to talk tourism, please call your local tourism office and ask to speak to your Local Area Manager or Membership Administrator.

You can also email our membership team on membership@capetown.travel or call +27 (0)21 487 6800.

How do bookings and commissions work?

  • Cape Town Tourism cannot guarantee reservations. We do, however, rotate referrals and bookings among our members. In rotating referrals we endeavour to match customers’ needs to members’ product profile.
  • A non-refundable 11% commission is levied for all reservations and referrals made on behalf of members. Non-members are charged 20% commission on reservations.
  • When booking accommodation and tours through Cape Town Tourism, guests may pay 11% of the total booking amount to Cape Town Tourism (our commission), for which they will receive a voucher to take to the establishment as proof of payment. The balance of the booking fee will be payable at the member’s establishment.
  • Customers booking car rentals through Cape Town Tourism receive a voucher to take to the car rental company, which allows Cape Town Tourism to monitor the car rental bookings made. Car rental companies are required to settle the reservation commissions on a monthly basis.
  • A non-refundable 11% commission is also levied on referrals made to members. Cape Town Tourism appreciates it when members enquire as to the source of the referral and pay the commission fee to Cape Town Tourism when referrals are received from our centres.

What are Cape Town Tourism’s booking terms and conditions?

All members that would like to receive bookings and referrals from Cape Town Tourism are required to sign the following booking terms and conditions:

  • Cape Town Tourism provides a booking service for accommodation, tour operator, activities and car hire members for an 11% non-refundable deposit.
  • All prices quoted to Cape Town Tourism must be rack rate, i.e. the price must include all charges, commissions and VAT. Services rendered by the service provider that are not included in the rate should be stated separately.
  • When booking enquiries are received by Cape Town Tourism, a provisional booking will be made and must be kept for a period of 12 hours.
  • For each deposit collected by Cape Town Tourism, the customer will receive a booking confirmation listing the deposit collected, and this amount will be deducted from the total fee payable to the service provider.
  • Once the booking confirmation has been received, the business must follow up with the customer regarding any further deposit requirements, bank account details, acceptable forms of payment and cancellation policy.
  • It is important to note that sometimes visitors prefer to first look at or view the product or deal with the member directly. In these cases, members will be responsible for a referral commission of 11% payable to Cape Town Tourism for the amount the customer will pay directly to the service provider. Cape Town Tourism will raise an invoice for the deposit.
  • Service providers must make available to customers adequate and appropriate alternative accommodation, tours or vehicles if the original item booked by the customer is not available for any reason.
  • By confirming the booking and paying the deposit, customers are entitled to use the facilities and services of the establishment or service provider for the dates, room types, special services and prices agreed.

Download the booking terms and conditions.

Why do I need to pass a minimum standards assessment?

Visitors require excellent quality and value-for-money experiences. The delivery of these ensures that Cape Town – and the Western Cape – remains a top destination and grows in popularity.

Cape Town Tourism, along with all other local tourism organisations across the province, has been committed to a provincial quality assurance programme since its inception in 2004. Only products that agree to our code of conduct and fulfil the minimum standards criteria required for their category of membership are promoted by Cape Town Tourism to ensure a quality visitor experience.

The quality assurance programme is operated in partnership with the star grading system managed by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. The assessment is conducted by qualified grading council assessors. The cost of the assessment is included in the membership fees. Assessments are conducted every two years.

Currently the assessment applies to all accommodation providers that are not graded and all tour operators that have not passed the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association minimum criteria. The assessment also includes responsible tourism criteria.

Download the minimum requirements or find out more about the grading process run by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.

Where and how do I display my brochures?

Cape Town Tourism is committed to serving and promoting all our members’ products to the best of our ability. Brochure display at Cape Town Tourism VICs is a key membership benefit and Cape Town Tourism works hard to ensure that we can accommodate all our members’ brochures at the various Visitor Information Centres (VICs) across Cape Town. You are assured that your product brochures will be displayed at a minimum of three VICs.

Cape Town Tourism endeavours to accommodate your brochure display request as far as possible in the following offices, subject to space and visitor demand:

  • Burg Street - City Centre
  • Canal Walk
  • Southey's Vines (Somerset West)
  • Simonstown

Request a list of team members responsible for brochure display from our membership team on +27 (0)21 487 6800 or email membership@capetown.travel.

Due to serious space constraints only generic or official brochures approved by Cape Town Tourism will be accommodated at the other VICs, including Long Street and the airport VICs. Please request criteria for Kirstenbosch and Table Mountain VICs from our membership team on +27 (0)21 487 6800 or email membership@capetown.travel.

To assist members to gain exposure, Cape Town Tourism has implemented an official digital media platform consisting of both plasma and touch screens. A basic listing is included for all members on the touch screen. Affordable advertising costs are available for increased exposure on both the touch and plasma screens.

Members are encouraged to provide 20 A4 laminated copies of their brochures so that these can be stored in brochure files in all VICs.

Brochure display is subject to paid-up membership of Cape Town Tourism. Should your brochure display requirements change in the course of your membership year, you should send a written request to your membership administrator. You will be notified in writing should your request be granted. You are therefore requested to show/provide a copy of the letter of approval to the tourism officer at the VICs receiving your brochures.

Always supply any contracted distributor of your brochures with a copy of the approval letter as brochure display at an official tourism office is subject to paid-up membership.

The onus is on members to maintain the stock levels at the VICs where your brochures can be accommodated. We cannot accept bulk stock as we have limited storage space. Please discuss the limited brochure distribution service that we can provide to key VICs with your Local Membership Administrator.

Please note that your product/business is listed electronically with our team as well as displayed on the touch screens in key offices.

Should you wish to raise any brochure management and display issue with Cape Town Tourism, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Local Membership Administrator, email membership@capetown.travel or call +27 (0)21 487 6800.

How do I set up an information session or educational for team Cape Town Tourism?

We would very much like all of our team members to meet members to find out more about the activities, establishments and services that visitors can experience. Our team relies on the information that is provided by you, our members, and is stored on our central online database. We would, however, like to give you the opportunity to meet and personally discuss your business with us.

For your convenience we have dedicated times at each of our VICs so that we can meet with you. To book a 20-minute time to meet the team, please contact your local Membership Administrator or use the online form. By booking a time, you can be sure that our team will be available to meet you and get to know you better.

We are also able to facilitate educationals for team members to visit your establishment. Please allow at least 10 working days for us to ensure that the relevant team members are available. Please also use the online form to request an educational.

What fees should I pay?

  • All businesses are required to pay the annual membership fees according to the relevant category and rates. You can download the full list of fees.
  • Fees are increased annually after the AGM in October
  • If you offer multiple services to visitors – e.g. accommodation and a conference venue – you will be charged 80% of the fee applicable to the other services.
  • If the various services are separate or on different premises and income is not shared, full rates will be charged on all the relevant categories. This means that if a restaurant is located on separate premises from the accommodation, both products will be liable for the full membership fees.
  • When a restaurant and an accommodation establishment are located on the same site but use different brands for their products, they will be charged the full rate for each brand.
  • Any establishment can apply for subsidised membership to Cape Town Tourism. This may be granted based on the merit of each case. This must be done in consultation with the Cape Town Tourism CEO and remains subject to approval.
  • Any association, club and society that waives the membership fee of Cape Town Tourism for its organisation may enjoy reciprocal membership. This will be formalised in writing between both parties and is subject to standard criteria.

Review all membership criteria.

How should I pay?

  • The membership period runs from September 1 to August 31 each year.
  • Members may join throughout the year.
  • Members joining during the membership year will be charged a pro rata rate until August 31.
  • Members may apply for debit order payments.
  • If a debit order payment is not selected, membership fees should be paid annually in advance using cash, cheques, credit card, direct deposits and electronic transfers.
  • Membership benefits can only be redeemed after full payment is received.

Banking details

Bank: ABSA Bank, Public Sector Western Cape
Branch No:  631609
Account No: 4060151281
Account Name: Cape Town Visitor Services Association trading as CAPE TOWN TOURISM

Please quote your business name or membership number (as shown on your membership invoice) with all direct deposits. Please fax a copy of the deposit slip to +27 21 487 6899 or email lee-ann@capetown.travel.

Can my membership be cancelled?

Your membership can be cancelled based on a decision made by yourself or Cape Town Tourism. All membership cancellations are to be received in writing and advance payments of fees will be forfeited. Should the member wish to re-join after their membership has lapsed, they should follow the application for membership process and pay the relevant fees.

The following are the standard criteria Cape Town Tourism uses to cancel membership:

  • Bribery of team members – Should a member be found providing Cape Town Tourism team members with any incentive to provide referrals and reservations or preferential treatment, this could result in immediate cancellation of membership.
  • Non-payment – A 90-day period from the issuing of the first invoice for membership fees or commissions is allowed for payment to be made.
  • Misrepresentation of products and services – Should the member include misrepresentative content or images in any marketing material, this could result in cancellation of membership.
  • Non-compliance with minimum requirements – If a new applicant or existing member does not pass the minimum requirements during an inspection, a rehabilitation period of three months is allowed for the items to be corrected. Should the items not be corrected, Cape Town Tourism will cancel the membership.
  • Failure to comply with the code of conduct and terms and conditions – Should a member fail to comply with the booking, referral and brochure terms or the code of conduct, membership could be terminated.
  • Complaints received – If Cape Town Tourism receives three legitimate complaints about the member, membership may be terminated. Cape Town Tourism will investigate every complaint received in consultation with all the parties involved.