Is Eskom's load shedding affecting Cape Town's tourism?
Cape Town is one of the most visited cities in South Africa during the summer months, but over the years it has been hit with many challenges.
The drought crisis, which meant that travellers needed to cut back on their water usage, proved concern.
And now with Eskom implementing strict load shedding schedules recently, the power cuts have had a significant impact on tourism in the Mother City.
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, shed some light on the impact of load shedding on tourism.
“While visitors to our city have many attractions they can enjoy with or without electricity, the unexpected news that load shedding had gone up to Stage 6 brought an element of uncertainty to what was meant to be the season when both international visitors and locals experience what Cape Town has to offer,” he said in a statement.
He said tourism in South Africa was reeling from the decline in tourist volumes over the last few years.
“These lost volumes don’t only mean a decrease in revenues for tourism businesses but result in fewer new jobs being created for ordinary citizens across our country. When every 12 tourists translate into one new job, we should be fighting to retain every single visitor.
“All tourists expect us to keep our brand promise to keep them safe and make sure they have a memorable and enjoyable experience. Not being able to meet these expectations will result in fewer visitors, a drop in spending, fewer jobs, and more unemployment,” he added.
He expressed tourism operators’ uncertainty on what to offer visitors when it comes to load shedding.
“This is happening during the time of the year when we should be putting our best foot forward as a city, and a country is only more troubling.
“As Cape Town Tourism we urge all parties involved to resolve this situation with the urgency called for and in the meantime, we will be keeping our members and visitors updated on all developments as and when we receive information from the relevant authorities,” he added.
Last week, Cape Town Tourism announced it was ready to receive tourists ahead of its high travel season.
The organisation revealed that it will welcome 50 000 travellers from the UK between December 2019 to March 2020 period, an increase of 30% from the same period last year.