Cape Town Tourism adopted a Future Forward approach to the organisation’s Annual General Meeting, in which recognition was made of the efforts made in rolling out sustainable tourism initiatives. According to the organisation’s leadership, the sector has done well to manage challenges and should look ahead with optimism.
“Future Forward is what will drive our strategic thinking; not just in building on our sustainable tourism foundations, but in addressing inclusivity as we evolve as an industry. The private and public sector has, over the past year, collaborated to produce meaningful results, and, as Cape Town Tourism, we’d like to acknowledge and thank each and every industry representative for standing firm during this time and acting swiftly to ensure that our industry has a future, a bright one that is a beacon on the global stage of sustainable tourism. Together, we are living the goal of being Future Forward.” – Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy
Headline speaker, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, commended the ways in which tourism businesses found creative approaches to addressing the drought:
“We recognise that the people of Cape Town, and the tourism industry here, have faced a tough period, but in adversity we find new ways of doing things, and now we are a global leader in sustainable water practices in tourism and beyond. We must build on this to lead in all aspects of responsible tourism. I welcome the future focus adopted by Cape Town Tourism, and most importantly, the embracing of inclusivity which is crucial for sustainability.,” stated Minister Hanekom.
The event also saw the presentation of the organisation’s Board Development Fund (BDF) to two recipients, as well as a new initiative which seeks to award Future Forward Thinking among tourism professionals.
4ROOMED EKASI CULTURE
Based on the concept of eKasi four-roomed homes that were the dwellings of the black communities in areas close to the business hubs of the cities of South Africa. The company consists of the fine-dining restaurant eKasi, a food truck and 4Roomed Pantry goods (promoting food security and healthy food choices in the townships, contributing to the economy, accommodation options, heritage décor and props hire and vintage clothing hire and sales. It is owner-operated by former Masterchef SA contestant Abigail Mbalo-Mokoena.
ABCD Concepts is a lifestyle marketing tourism start-up based in the heart of Khayelitsha run by Buntu Matole & Ayanda Cuba. Their mission is to express the experiences and interactions of people and businesses within communities through physical activity.
Future Forward Thinking Awards
These inaugural awards recognise Cape Town Tourism members who have their heads turned towards the future, who are innovative and who see the opportunity in challenges presented by change.
Future Forward Thinking for Environmental Sustainability
There were two winners in this category which seeks to honour businesses for whom sustainability has formed a long-term, Future Forward strategy.
- Spier Hotel & Wine Farm’s road to sustainability began in 2009; their goals have all been achieved within 10 years, and this includes a means of measuring impact and being able to report on water consumption for delegate and guest.
- Reverie Social Table is recognised for thought-innovation and action in the restaurant space, with their comprehensive approach to environmental management, including creative ways to reduce food waste and sourcing vegetables locally.
Future Forward Thinking for Community Benefit
- The runner up in this category was mentioned for the incredible work they do by giving children with disabilities and their families opportunities to participate in and enjoy tourism: Warrior on Wheels
- The winner was Uthando (Love) South Africa: This organisation has leveraged tourism to provide direct benefits to community organisations through funding and capacitation. They have raised funds for four early childhood development buildings since 2009 and fundraising is in progress for another two. They raise funds by offering tours to the community development projects it supports. While it focuses on making the experience fun for guests, it also safeguards the community through its guest code of conduct.
Future Forward Thinking for Visitor Experience
- Winner: Marine Dynamics This winning visitor event is more than just a tourism encounter, it’s a life-changing experience. Certainly, the memory of their close encounter with a Great White will stay with guests forever, but they work towards guests leaving with a lifelong respect for marine life and conservation.
Enver Mally, outgoing chairperson of Cape Town Tourism had this to say:
“It’s an honour to work in tourism; the stories you hear, the experiences you have are like no other sector. I look forward to continuing my relationship with my fellow tourism professionals as we seek to realise opportunities and grow the industry,” Mally stated.