Since early November this dedicated Tourism Law Enforcement Unit have been deployed in key tourist areas, including the cable car parking areas, the V&A Waterfront bridge, St Georges Mall and the Bo-Kaap. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town -  The Western Cape is ready to welcome visitors ahead of the tourism season, provincial MEC for finance and economic opportunities David Maynier said this week.

“The tourism sector remains the backbone of the Western Cape economy, supporting over 300 000 direct and indirect jobs in our province alone thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to the region annually to enjoy some of the most scenic and breath-taking locations that the globe has to offer,” he said.

“That is why we have embarked on a number of initiatives to increase visitors to the province and ensure that we retain a high return visitor rate.”

Most recently, in partnership with the City of Cape Town (CoCT), the department launched the Tourism Law Enforcement Unit to provide additional security to those visiting the City of Cape Town.

Since early November this dedicated Tourism Law Enforcement Unit have been deployed in key tourist areas, including the cable car parking areas, the V&A Waterfront bridge, St Georges Mall and the Bo-Kaap.

Maynier, and the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, met with these law enforcement officers this week.

At the meeting, Smith said: “The City and the province are determined to make our city safer for all, including both domestic and international visitors. The tourism sector and the jobs it provides are valuable to us, and so we’re deploying staff to the CBD and other tourism areas to ensure the safety of our visitors. I want to stress that our priority for safety is for everyone."

Maynier said the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has been working with municipalities in the province to ensure they are ready for tourists by increasing staff and doing beach clean-ups. Visitor information centres have also been equipped to deal with any queries and additional traffic management has been scheduled.

For some time now, the department has also been operating a 24-hour, 7-days Tourism Safety and Support Programme, which together with Cape Town Tourism’s Band-Aid initiative, assist and support tourists who may find themselves in situations of distress. 

“We have also developed a co-ordinated response between government and the tourism industry to ensure that we are able to provide clear messaging on tourism safety and the drought so that visitors are informed when they visit the Western Cape,” he said. 

African News Agency (ANA)