I can’t believe that it has already been six months since I joined the Cape Town Tourism team as the Tourism Service Executive. One of my first opportunities to meet our members was at our annual AGM. I have been privileged to meet many more members over the past few months and I never fail to be energised by the industry’s dedication to making our city an even better place to visit.
It seems like just yesterday we were anticipating the start of the domestic high season, yet in what feels like a flash, here we are well into what promises to be another of year of growth and innovation for tourism in Cape Town.
Over the past few months, we have often been asked whether tourism to the city should still be encouraged amidst the current drought. Since tourism is such a vital part of the City’s economy, our answer has remained a resounding “yes”, while encouraging all tourism establishments and visitors to practice responsible, water wise tourism. The water crisis has presented the tourism industry with a range of challenges, but these have in turn provided opportunities for improvement, especially in terms of practising sustainable tourism. We’ve been working hard alongside other tourism stakeholder organisations to ensure that all visitors know that it’s necessary to save water wherever possible, and we believe that this has helped reduce tourism’s H20 footprint and push out Day Zero even further. As it emerged from our JAMMS water meeting held at the end of January, responsible, sustainable tourism is a non-negotiable to us in Cape Town and should be central to all that we do.
This past quarter has been a very busy quarter for the Tourism Services team who worked tirelessly to spread the water savings message to visitors.
CTT also continues to drive the importance of visitor safety. The organisation works with a number of agencies and organisations, while chairing the Visitor Safety Forum to create a safer environment for visitors, particularly during the busy season. We would like to remind you to alert your visitors to the identified crime hotspots. Please continue to share our hiking, general safety and water saving tips with your guests – by keeping them informed, we can help them enjoy a truly memorable experience in our city.
As always, we recognise that visiting Cape Town is made great by the people who work throughout the year to give thousands of visitors a reason to #lovecapetown.
Your commitment has inspired my own vision to contribute towards the transformation of the tourism industry, to build critical skills and to create an enabling platform for smaller, less established members to thrive in this amazing city.
I would like to not only grow the membership base, but also to increase the value that we currently add to our 1432 members. We’ve all seen first-hand the impact of our industry in changing lives and growing the economy, and so we want to build a strong and active membership body that can continue expanding its impact in Cape Town.
I would like to thank each one of you whom I have already had the fortune of meeting, for welcoming me to back to Cape Town and into my new role so warmly. I look forward to meeting and engaging with many more of you in the year to come as we continue to #lovecapetown.