About 20 000 hand sanitizers, branded with water savings tips will be distributed ahead of an expected bumper tourism season.
Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said at the start of this month, provincial government, local municipalities and tourism officers will host awareness events along the N2, N1 and N7. “We will be welcoming tourists into our province and making sure they are aware of the water crisis,” she said.
There will also be knock-and-drops to petrol stations and guest houses across the province. Tourist guides will also spreading the water-saving message.
Winde said government was completing case studies of best practice on water-savings in each sector, to share with businesses.
The Western Cape Investment and Trade and Promotion Agency (Wesgro), provincial government, CapeNature and Airbnb, have also started distributing 2 300 low-flow shower heads to guesthouses, B&B’s and Airbnb hosts across the province.
It is estimated that this contribution will help save at least 70 million litres of water a year.
Tourism arrivals are set to increase this peak season.
Winde said online airline bookings revealed that tourism arrivals for December and January showed a five percent year-on-year increase.
In 2016, 160 511 international tourists and 312 246 domestic tourists travelled to the region in December.
“Between January and March 2017, the Western Cape already attracted a total of 1 000 156 international and domestic visitors to its shores. Of these visitors, 472 156 foreign tourist arrivals were recorded during this period, a 6% increase from the same period last year. This resulted in a foreign direct spend of R5.7 billion and a 1.2% increase in expenditure compared to the first quarter in 2016.
“This is great news for our economy. We know that the tourism sector supports more than 300 000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the Western Cape and contributed over R38 billion to our economy last year,” Winde said.
Winde said while international tourists only make up around 1% of our total population during the peak season, it is still important that we share our water savings message with tourists.
Wesgro chief executive, Tim Harris said: “We expect an increase in tourists during this peak season, and this is great news for our economy. While international tourists only add approximately 1% to the population of the Cape at any given time during the peak season, they will contribute more than R5 billion to the provincial economy in just three months. This means economic growth and more jobs. Wesgro, however, appeals to all tourists visiting our beautiful province to do everything they can to save water. Reduce your water consumption to under 87 litres per person per day. Wesgro, as the Western Cape’s tourism agency is doing what it can to ensure this message gets to both tourists and tourism establishments.”