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Cape Town takes the lead in transforming the tourism landscape – ITB Berlin

Cape Town, South Africa is addressing tourism challenges on all fronts to ensure that this world-class destination continues to build on its reputation to attract visitors all year round. Four initiatives being driven simultaneously by Cape Town Tourism are actively generating a positive response from visitors, communities, government and the tourism sector alike. By Enver Duminy.

Cape Town Tourism is currently being represented at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair.

Safety Ambassador Programme

Cape Town Tourism (CTT) plays an active, supportive role in addressing visitor safety in the city. While the primary role of safety and security belongs to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other local law enforcement agencies, we collaborate where possible to achieve more.

We are therefore running our innovative and successful Tourism Safety Ambassador Program for the second consecutive year. Jobless youth and final year university students from disadvantaged communities on the Cape Flats and Bo-Kaap learn valuable life and tourism skills while assisting to keep our visitors safe.

We are incredibly proud of the impact that the program has had thus far in raising awareness of crime hotspot areas and contributing directly towards four arrests.

These Ambassadors are subsequently able to generate an income over our tourism ‘high season’, while providing a safer environment and frictionless visitor experience. Besides this program, Cape Town Tourism distributes safety bookmarks via our extensive 1500-member network from airports and attractions to hotels and restaurants; and digitally via our influential social media channels and website to ensure that safety messaging is visible and accessible.

We believe that our efforts go a long way in reducing possible safety risks posed to visitors while trying to ensure that they enjoy every part of our city from eKasi to the CBD.

We are committed to providing visitors with the best possible experience. This can only happen if they feel and are safe.

As Cape Town Tourism, we are working together with all relevant stakeholders and agencies to enhance visitor safety around the city and other tourism hotspots. It’s of utmost importance that visitors can visit our open spaces and feel safe.

Watch this short video to find out more about this amazing initiative:

Water-wise tourism and sustainability

Cape Town is on the proverbial road to recovery, as our tourism begins to show positive signs of revival. Water-scarcity is no longer an idea or concept that lives in text-books or National Geographic documentaries, it’s a reality and being resilient to this and other natural disasters is becoming a necessity rather than a nice-to-have.

Welcomed rainfall along with private and public water savings initiatives have become a recognised example of destination strength the world-over. The city has achieved a turnaround that is remarkable, to the point that conferences on water and sustainability are being hosted in the city, with international delegates wanting to develop a best-practice approach that incorporates some of the Cape’s initiatives.

The many initiatives that have taken place, as well as the ones are still underway, to reduce water usage have radically altered our relationship with this precious natural resource. The Secretary General of the UNWTO singled us out for our efforts in reducing water usage – how we learned to collaborate during a crisis has become a best-practice case study. There have been multiple campaigns and communication efforts, so collectively, these have ensured that the messaging is brought across to visitors and that water usage is reduced accordingly.

Attracting the global Halal travel market

Cape Town has a rich Muslim history and heritage, with the Cape Malay Muslims making up around a quarter of the population. Cape Town was the place for South Africa’s first Muslim settlers and is home to the oldest mosque in South Africa, dating back an impressive 200 years. Cape Town’s large Muslim community is central to every aspect of life in the city. Cape Town Tourism works closely with CrescentRating, the world’s leading authority on Halal Travel, to accredit and train the industry first-hand and have Muslim employees and have trained staff to focus on this segment. As part of marketing efforts, it’s essential to audit your destination and prepare the tourism industry to cater for the international Muslim traveler.  The global Halal travel market with has a forecasted value of US$36 billion by 2020.

Community engagement and neighbourhood tourism development

Cape Town Tourism recently embarked on a new mentorship journey. In partnership with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a Marketing Incubator has been created. It’s aimed at SMEs within Cape Town Tourism’s sizeable membership base and provides mentorship and training via a one-day course with some of the top minds in the business. It’s short, because SME owners can ill afford time away from their businesses, but the quality of training means that these business owners can apply what they’re learning in real time.

The organisation has found that rather than simple workshops, what works is to hold meetings within communities where the full gamut of opinion and experience can be shared. This can take the form of a listening exercise – with a view to taking points forward – or a speed-dating-styled meeting. One such example was our eKasi Sessions. We gathered together SME business owners and put them in direct contact with large tourism enterprise operators. Each person had access to the other for short, meaningful discussions before moving on to the next person. This style of meeting makes for a personal interaction that can bear fruit. It helps to break down the “us and them” barrier that can exist between SMEs and larger businesses, and both parties can benefit.

Cape Town Tourism has also released a vibrant series of videos showcasing the city’s many neighbourhoods, each of which has a completely different vibe to the next. The “Love Cape Town” video series taps into the global “Travel Like a Local” trend, which encourages visitors to explore local neighbourhoods and get immersed in unique experiences.

Take a look at the videos below and see all the great things they have to offer: WoodstockKhayelitshaThe Bo-Kaap, Mitchells Plain Kalk Bay, Constantia, Langa, Simon’s Town and Cape Point

If we’re to continue our growth trajectory as a destination, we must be bold, agile and achieving ground-breaking results. Our strategies are yielding fruit, and we have some fantastic creative minds working with us to amaze and delight visitors.

About the author: Enver Duminy is the CEO at Cape Town Tourism.

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