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CPT Tourism, CoCT host webinar exploring the 'next normal' for tourism

Cape Town Town and the City of Cape Town recently hosted a webinar detailing where tourism as an industry has come from, the way forward and the plans that are in place to help visitors, industry players and residents of Cape Town through the "next normal" way of playing, living and working.
Shotlist via
Shotlist via Unsplash

Over the course of the last few weeks and months, Cape Town Tourism has conducted a number of surveys to ascertain how businesses and consumers are doing during this time. The picture that these surveys painted was not pretty.

The Covid-19 Impact Report highlighted how up to 90, 000 jobs were at risk of being lost, while the Consumer Impact Report showed that, if life continued under harsh restrictions, consumers would have little to no money to travel at all, let alone internationally. With the recent easing of restrictions, however, Cape Town Tourism is feeling optimistic and is ready to showcase how, together with the City of Cape Town, the local tourism industry can not only bounce back, but bounce back better.

New campaigns will focus on a self-drive campaign about how Cape Town has everything you need, as well as a video series focusing on pocket-friendly Cape Town that is set to launch.

"We have not been sitting still this lockdown," Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism said during the webinar. "We, along with the City of Cape Town, have been doing our utmost to ensure that we are ready to welcome visitors back again.

"We have been educating our members and other stakeholders on best practice when it comes to Covid-19 compliance, we have been lobbying for the government to safely open the industry again, we have continued to promote Cape Town in various ways to keep the destination top of mind, and we have started rolling out our bounce back plan that will ensure that we get going again in a responsive and responsible manner."

Destination management plays an important role

During the webinar, Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Tourism for the City of Cape Town, noted that we need to meet the changing needs of travel.

"Our role is to make sure that Cape Town remains a popular tourist destination, but also that we are ready and armed with the right knowledge to deal with anything in these unprecedented times as things could change at any point," explained.

As part of the bounce back, Cape Town Tourism is ensuring that there is good handling of the management of the destination and that members, communities and businesses are ready to welcome visitors back to the city.

There is a six-pillar strategy in place that aims to highlight Cape Town as a great destination to visit, live, work, study, play and invest in. As a city, Vos explained that they are creating new opportunities across the board and are looking to expand tourism opportunities to all corners of Cape Town. This means getting communities ready for tourism, ensuring that locals love living here, looking for investment opportunities, working to create a safe city and ensuring that fun and adventure can be had across the Mother City.

"We are a resilient city, and we are confident that we will be able to come back stronger and safer for anyone wanting to make Cape Town part of their lives," said Vos.

“Everything has and will continue to change from here on out. This is a road untraveled and we need to figure out what a destination in a Covid-19 world looks like from all angles - as a tourist, as investors, and as residents.”

Duminy notes that the reality is that it is a very different landscape from what it was a few months ago.

Self-drive and pocket-friendly campaigns

People are definitely looking forward to traveling again, but Cape Town faces the challenge of the competition from every city in the country since all will be vying for the attention of travelers.

"Everyone is fighting for a piece of the tourism pie, but we anticipate that, locally, we will be a popular destination as travelers look for a place that offers a little bit of everything - beach, mountains and nature. This is why we are proud to announce our new self-drive domestic campaign which goes live next week."

This campaign will showcase Cape Town experiences that could be quite easily mistaken for their international counterparts. So, even though you can’t travel overseas, you can have an ‘international travel experience‘ right on your doorstep.

"Cape Town is a world-class destination and we predict that, instead of going overseas for a top travel experience when borders open, South Africans will look closer to home and see that Cape Town has as much to offer as other cities around the world, if not more. We believe that we will always remain a world-class city on many people's bucket lists and that, as soon as they can, international travelers will start to visit us once again. We now just have to ensure that visitors feel confident in our Covid-19 protocols and safe when they visit."

"We are also launching a series of videos where multinational and multicultural teams are given R100 to explore Cape Town’s authentic neighbourhoods. The focus will be on the great value, enjoyment, discovery, and the unique experiences that Cape Town has to offer."

Cape Town as a safe destination

While there is still no clear indication of when the government will open international borders, Cape Town Tourism and the City of Cape Town are focusing on ensuring that travel can resume safely and effectively in this “next normal” way of living, playing and working.

Helping to establish this confidence in Cape Town is the recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp announcement. As an approved user of the Stamp, it shows that, as a destination, Cape Town is aligned with the Safe Travel protocols as set out by WTTC.

"This emphasises that we are serious about being a safe destination for travelers and that we are ready to cautiously but warmly welcome visitors back again," explains Duminy.

“While we don’t expect to jump back to pre-Covid figures immediately, we are optimistic in Cape Town’s ability to lure domestic travelers to our shores. We are moving from crisis to recovery and are ready for a different type of tourism in a Covid-19 world," concludes Vos.

View the webinar here.

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