Cape Town-141223-Ratanga Junction on the Monkey Falls In pic is (fron to back)-In green is Leverne Robain, SamorayJooste and Marco Hendricks from Stellenbosch-Photographer-Tracey Adams

Cape Town - With about 2 million tourists expected in the city this festive season, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has urged visitors to be “sensible” when visiting the city centre.

“Common sense plays a big part in staying safe. For example, we often see people walking around with headphones on, listening to music, and this could distract them from what’s happening around them,” said Tasso Evangelinos, CCID chief operating officer.

He advised visitors to avoid deserted or dark areas and to keep all possessions out of sight – including cellphones and wallets.

Some of the tips for visitors and residents who are out and about include advice about not leaving handbags under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks.

Evangelinos said motorists should only park in well-lit areas and have their keys ready before they returned to their cars.

The CCID works with the police and the city’s law enforcement to beef up security. The CCID’s public safety officers, wearing black and green bibs, can be seen in the city centre 24/7, he said.

Other challenges during this festive season include “aggressive begging” and Evangelinos said visitors should rather donate via the “Give Responsibly” SMS donation line. There are also public safety officers in town to help anyone feeling threatened by beggars.

Cape Town Tourism has added an additional caution for visitors using ATMs – be aware of people wanting to help and avoid carrying too much cash. Tourists are reminded to use registered taxis, and to walk in groups or with a guide. There are eight Visitor Information Centres in the city as well as mobile visitor information units where tourists can seek help or make bookings.

* For more information, visit http://www.capetownccid.org.

Cape Argus