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    Western Cape opens R4m Tourism Growth Fund for applications

    The Western Cape Government's Department of Economic Development and Tourism has opened the 2024/25 'Tourism Growth Fund' for applications. Organisations are encouraged to apply for project funding aimed at tourism development, tourism infrastructure and tourism product development.
    Image source:
    Image source: Gallo/Getty

    Commenting on the launch of the latest iteration of the fund, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said: Tourism in the Western Cape is on the up. We have moved from post-COVID recovery and into impressive growth, showing that the province is a tourism destination of choice and very much in demand.”

    "This is why I am very excited to launch the latest R4m Tourism Growth Fund so we can work with more organisations across the sector to further improve our world-class attractions and offerings. This fund will allow us to add to and boost the already impressive array of offerings we have across the province, attracting even more visitors, and creating many more jobs in the Western Cape,” continued Minister Wenger.

    The Fund challenges those involved in the tourism ecosystem – both public and private – to co-invest in high-impact attractions and experiences in order to offer a more compelling reason to visit the Western Cape and its districts.

    The fund will provide co-funding to:

    a. Collaborative initiatives that enhance high-volume tourism attractions through tourism infrastructure development/upgrading and/ or place-making/ beautification interventions; and/ or

    b. Collaborative initiatives of tourism organisations working with tourism enterprises to enable businesses to enhance and expand their tourism offerings in areas with high growth potential.

    There are two categories for which funding can be applied for:

    Category 1: Tourism Infrastructure Support initiatives with a focus on upgrading high volume attractions

    The fund will support regional and local tourism organisations, industry associations, district and local authorities and tourism enterprises with initiatives to enhance high-volume tourism attractions through tourism infrastructure development or upgrades and/ or place-making/ beautification activities.

    Tourism infrastructure upgrade means the enhancement or development of any existing or new infrastructure required to ensure that tourists can visit attractions and experiences in a safe, clean, comfortable and accessible manner. Examples of tourism infrastructure include trails, walkways, signage, street furniture, public lighting, public toilets, shelters, hides and more.

    Category 2: Tourism Product Development Support initiatives with a focus on assisting tourism enterprises (specifically small, medium and micro enterprises) with tourism product development

    The fund will provide financial support to enhance and/or expand collaborative programmes and projects aimed at assisting SMMEs with tourism product development. Regional and local tourism organisations, industry associations and district and local authorities can apply for support through the programme; in exceptional circumstances, individual enterprises will be considered.

    Tourism product development support includes, but is not limited to:

    • Product and/ or experience development;
    • Capacity development; and/or
    • Provision of bespoke support (machinery, equipment, licenses, accreditation, memberships, health and safety compliance, standards etc).

    This year, the Tourism Growth Fund will prioritise private sector-led initiatives aimed at stimulating high-growth, high-yield forms of tourism including Halal, adventure, food, wine, culture and heritage, and township-based tourism offerings.

    Minister Wenger emphasised that “As part of our ambitious economic action plan, ‘Growth For Jobs’, we are determined to double the number of visitors to the province by 2035 to aid in our overarching goal of enabling a R1 trillion, jobs-rich, inclusive, diverse, and resilient provincial economy that is growing at between 4% and 6% in real terms.”

    "I would like to encourage those organisations who may benefit from the fund to apply without delay, and I look forward to working with the sector to attract more and more tourists to this wonderful province - because more tourists mean more jobs in the Western Cape,” concluded Minister Wenger.

    More information on the fund and on how to apply.

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