Cape Town - The Western Cape Government (WCG) is gearing up for a “record-breaking summer tourism season”, expecting more than one million inbound international flight seats.
Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger shared the government’s sentiments during her second annual Summer Tourism Readiness Dialogue with key stakeholders from across the tourism and hospitality sector in the province.
The Department of Finance and Economic Opportunities said Wenger hosted the dialogue to solidify plans for a successful tourism season.
Among the stakeholders who attended the event were representatives from the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, Airports Company South Africa, Air Access and Cruise Cape Town, The Department of Home Affairs, the Border Management Agency, Cape Town Tourism, and South African Tourism.
Commenting on the projections for the upcoming season, Wenger said although the province had come far and achieved a lot over the past months, there was still room for more to be done.
She revealed the WCG’s agenda for the summer season, which has three key areas of focus, related to the visa system, safety and skills.
“The inefficiencies relating to the visa system remain a significant deterrent to investment and expansion of existing businesses,” she said.
“At the top of my list is making it as easy for international visitors to holiday in the Western Cape and South Africa. I am determined to work with our national government partners to fix the inefficiencies.”
Wenger said the WCG welcomed the commitment from the Department of Home Affairs that the Remote or Digital Nomad Visa would be live by March 31.
Concerning safety issues, Wenger said the WCG was pleased with the significant progress made over past years in bringing the private and public sectors together to implement practical solutions to combat and pre-empt safety risks for our visitors.
She said that over the 2023/24 season, 250 tourism monitors would be deployed across the province to identify hot spots.
“Officials will be trained and equipped with mobile apps to link them to critical security services. I am pleased that the Department of Tourism has secured a commitment from SAPS that police reservists will be available during the summer season to assist with tourism safety,” Wenger said.
Concerning acquiring a skilled workforce to serve during the season, Wenger said giving visitors the best possible experience was a key priority for the Province.
She said work had been concluded to establish a skills forum, which meets regularly to co-ordinate the activities of government, private sector, and academia.