Committee member Andricus van der Westhuizen (DA) wanted to know why a number of venues had not reduced their tariffs to encourage wallet-friendly travel by locals. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Committee member Andricus van der Westhuizen (DA) wanted to know why a number of venues had not reduced their tariffs to encourage wallet-friendly travel by locals. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Tourism recovery is under way in the Cape, says official

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published May 27, 2021

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Cape Town - The short to medium-term response to tourism recovery is under way through efforts by the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (Dedat) and Wesgro, including destination marketing campaigns, according to Dedat acting head of department Rashid Toefy.

While there was only a 19% recovery rate of international travellers in December 2020, the domestic market is leading the way and over the Easter weekend, the domestic terminal at Cape Town International Airport welcomed 61 099 passengers.

“In the Western Cape the upswing in domestic leisure travel has already had a positive impact on the economy,” said Toefy.

Toefy was speaking during a briefing by Dedat and Wesgro to the legislature’s standing committee on finance, economic opportunities and tourism.

The committee heard that Dedat has engagements planned with local and regional tourism representations through workshops about transformative travel, in an effort to equip them to promote small towns to the international market.

This was in answer to a question from Gillion Bosman (DA) who had asked how small towns and municipalities which lack the capacity to run proper economic development plans could benefit from the destination marketing being done for the province.

Committee chairperson Deidré Baartman (DA) said the committee would invite the Skills Education and Training Authority to brief it on their work to support the tourism sector in the province.

Committee member Andricus van der Westhuizen (DA) wanted to know why a number of venues had not reduced their tariffs to encourage wallet-friendly travel by locals.

Naming as examples, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch, SANParks and the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway he said: “How can we say we’re responsive to market supply and demand when these prices have not been significantly reduced?”

However, Wesgro chief marketing officer Monika Luel said that in fact there had been a lot more agility and fluidity in pricing that was previously directed at the international tourism market in a bid to attract domestic tourists.

With regards to the process for renewal of tour guide permits, the department’s economic sector support chief director Ilse van Schalkwyk said that the online registration system for tourist guides now allows them to register, renew, upgrade or replace their identity cards.

“A payment gateway will be launched later in the year for those individuals who cannot provide EFT payments or pay on site.”

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Cape Argus

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