This week Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos visited some of Cape Town’s wonderful, inexpensive activities as part of our ongoing campaign for Tourism Month. This year’s theme – and goal – is ‘tourism for inclusive growth’.
In working towards this inclusive growth, it is important that we consider both those employed in this industry, and those who buy into the experiences it offers.
In other words, we must work towards making Cape Town tourism accessible for all who wish to be a part of it – such as the cultural tour guides in Khayelitsha, the eateries in Bo-Kaap, the guesthouse owners in Durbanville – while also making the offerings of these small businesses financially attainable for domestic tourists.
This is especially important now as local tourists feel the pinch of a pandemic-knocked economy that simultaneously forced tourism and hospitality businesses to the brink of financial ruin and left millions more across the country without livelihoods.
To give you a sense of the pandemic’s impact on domestic tourism, consider that the number of passengers on the Johannesburg-Cape Town route dropped from around four million in 2019 to just 1,75 million in 2020. And, while the City and its partners worked throughout the pandemic to mitigate the effects of this disaster for small businesses, we couldn’t entirely stave it off.
Now, however, is the time to look forward and work with renewed vigour to bring back as much of what was lost as we can. As such, the City, together with our official Destination Marketing Organisation, Cape Town Tourism (CTT), is focusing on boosting domestic tourism by highlighting the many pocket-friendly experiences the Mother City has to offer.
For visitors and locals who aren’t sure where to start, CTT has compiled a handy list of 50 things to do for under R50 while the Pocket-friendly Challenge highlights cost-effective activities in communities across Cape Town. Visit www.capetown.travel to learn more about the Pocket Friendly packages and experiences.
You can get out-and-about and explore our incredible city on a free walking tour in Cape Town’s central business district or enjoy a picnic in Green Point Urban Park. Indulge in Cape Town’s best milkshake and hotdog at Wembley Roadhouse in Athlone, get your art fix at Langa’s Cultural Precinct or sip on some craft beers and gin in Hout Bay.
I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many of these experiences and I can tell you they’re all fantastic!
In this way, we are helping to diversify our tourism landscape by promoting a wider array of products and attractions throughout the city. This in turn breaks the perception that tourism is centred around certain parts of Cape Town and is perhaps too expensive.
Additionally, CTT is further boosting smaller hospitality businesses with the rollout of its Neighbourhood Experience Development training manual. Drafted together with experts at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, this manual is meticulous in detail and a tangible example of what we are doing to create inclusive growth.
The manual boasts detailed modules and practical activities on packaging a business offering for tourists, conducting market research, cultural understanding and much more. There are even guides on how to do an income statement and making use of booking and marketing platforms. These guides will be an essential tool for industry businesses, particularly as they prepare to receive summer holiday visitors.
We’re pulling out all the stops to save our tourism sector and make it even stronger than before. Tourism is a driver of job growth and economic prosperity, accounting for one in 10 jobs worldwide and delivering one in five of all new jobs created in 2017, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. With our Tourism Bounce Back Strategy aimed at stimulating supply and demand from specific source markets, we are confident that we will see growth in our numbers again.
With the peak holiday season just weeks away, and the country’s vaccination rollout now well under way, we can expect more South Africans to make their way to our beautiful shores. Let’s show that we’re ready for them, Cape Town!