Cape Town seeks to boost tourism in coming months
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Cape Town - The next few months will be crucial for the tourism sector as the summer season fast approaches.
The Municipal Economic Review and Outlook tabled in the provincial legislature on Tuesday stated that local tourism had been under significant pressure in 2020, as many South African households were negatively affected by retrenchments, salary cuts and general anxiety regarding their future and economic security.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “Cape Town is ranked as one of the top 15 most competitive cities in the world and attracts large volumes of domestic and international tourists.
“The resumption of international travel will be crucial for economic recovery in the Cape Metro region.”
Maynier said the province was fighting hard to have the government’s high-risk travel list model scrapped.
“In 2019, Cape Town International Airport recorded over one million international arrivals and over four million domestic arrivals. I visited the airport earlier this month to welcome the first international flight from the UAE, which was an exciting occasion.
“And although the ‘red list’ continues to constrain our international travel reopening, we are fighting hard,” he said.
According to the report tabled: “The domestic and international travel bans as a result of Covid-19 will, therefore, have a severe impact on the local tourism industry in the area. The tourism industry is highly reliant on international tourists, who often spend more than domestic tourists. International travel bans will thus have a negative impact on the sustainability of many local tourism businesses in the Cape Metro area.”
The report stated that the metropolitan area was in the process of expanding cruise-related excursions and product packaging, and developing projects to drive community beneficiation through participation in tourism.
Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said: “A cornerstone of our bounce-back strategy is our marketing and communications approach to reimagine and reignite visitor demand and position Cape Town as the premier destination to visit, live, work, study, play and invest.”
According to Vos, flights to Cape Town are steadily increasing, and just in time for our peak season. Mango, FlySafair, Airlink and CemAir have all resumed domestic flights. By the end of October, 10 international airlines including Qatar, Emirates. KLM, BA and Turkish Airlines will be running at least 50 flights a week from various cities directly to Cape Town.
But the high-risk list still has a massive impact on the tourism industry. Earlier this week, the government announced a revised list which contains 22 countries instead of the 57 previously listed.
Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said: “The tourism industry has been hit hard by the economic fallout of Covid-19, the SA lockdown and travel restrictions. Businesses are struggling without international guests - especially heading into summer.”