Cape Town’s tourism took a massive hit due to the Covid-19, and the city is trying its best to reimagine its tourism offerings amid the pandemic.
According to the latest available statistics from Statistics South Africa, tourism added roughly R18-billion to the local economy and directly supported just over 113 000 jobs in 2018.
As a critical sector in Cape Town, a webinar held by Cape Town's Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, and CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, revealed the city’s plans to help the tourism industry on the road to readiness and recovery.
The City of Cape Town has formulated plans using research as a strategic guide to plot a sustainable future for the travel sector.
The plans will also incorporate technology to its advantage and has established the Tourism Task Team to manage and co-ordinate the interventions needed to minimise the devastating effects of the coronavirus.
The team also worked on recovery strategies that will reshape and re-conceptualise tourism post-Covid-19.
“Now, and in the future, we have an opportunity to rebuild our industry not just to what it was before, but into something even better. This requires bold and brave new steps to drive the industry forward,” said Vos.
He discussed the three phases in Cape Town’s Covid-19 tourism action plan, including containment, adjustment and recovery phases.
In the containment phase, clear communication is key.
Vos said: “To ensure that the industry has access to credible information, a communications plan was rolled out as of March 2020. This includes daily industry e-mailers providing the most up-to-date information while ensuring our destination remains top-of-mind.
“CTT’s website, www.capetown.travel, has become the home of information on Covid-19 for visitors, and offers a 24-hour Live Chat as well as various educational resources,” he said.
He revealed that the organisation launched ‘A Survivalists Guide to the 21-day Lockdown’ where Capetonian celebs look at the lighter side of lockdown and Travel from your Couch which enables virtual travel experiences from the comfort of your home.
The adjustment phase entails gathering solid research and data to best inform the city’s plans. Vos said they will research to understand the current market trends, new health requirements, client satisfaction shifts, the market-readiness of Cape Town, new target markets as well as possible changes to products and demands.
“We want to understand the behavioural changes resulting from the impact of the coronavirus to continue to globally position Cape Town as the premier city to visit, live, work, study, play and invest
“We have launched our exciting ‘Seeing is believing’ campaign which involves digital interviews in which tourism businesses discuss how the virus has affected them but also how they are adapting to the new normal,” said Vos. The adjustment phase also includes international tourism trade training, virtual marketing initiatives and online travel training.
It will also offer visitors an online and 24-hour live chat capability. A Small Business Survival Toolkit and checklist has been developed and contains the essentials to help get businesses back to work safely.
Lastly, Cape Town Tourism will partner with industry specialists to help members with their recovery planning during the recovery phase. These include a Business Incubation Programme as well as targeted industry sessions, recovery training, dedicated business consultant sessions, and partnership onboarding.
“Key to our recovery plans are the campaigns that will be rolled out to entice tourists back to the Mother City.
“The City and Cape Town Tourism will partner with industry specialists to breathe life back into our tourism industry and the sectors that underpin the tourism industry, such as food and beverage, accommodation, transportation, events as well as goods and services. We must take advantage of the opportunity we now have to reimagine the future of tourism in Cape Town,” he added.
Recovery plans include investing in airport branding in our key source markets so that Cape Town is top of mind when domestic and international travel commences.
Visit the webinar