AS the country gears itself for Tourism Month in September, the City of Cape Town has unveiled plans to help the sector bounce back from the Covid-19 lockdown repercussions.
The plans include a focus on domestic travel and the establishment of a dedicated team to re-imagine tourism and help the sector regain its market share in the highly competitive global market.
Mayco member for economic opportunities and tourism, James Vos, said during a webinar this week, a great effort was made to ensure domestic travel resumed within the set safety parameters.
“Our role is to make sure Cape Town remains a popular tourist destination, but also that we’re ready to deal with anything in these unprecedented times. “We need to save jobs,” Vos said.
An impact survey carried out after the start of the lockdown in March showed that about 9 000 people in the tourism and hospitality industry would lose jobs if the lockdown went beyond the initial 21 days.
As part of the bounce-back strategy, a Tourism Task Force was established together with Cape Town Tourism, to review the approach to tourism and mitigate the effects of a stringent lockdown.
Vos said the strategies included diversifying tourism offerings to include several communities.
On the international front, the focus would be on “rekindling” relationships with existing partners such as New York and London, while also looking at new opportunities.
“We’re already looking at expanding air access with more direct flights from Portugal, Atlanta and other parts of the world in the pipeline, “ added Vos. He said a new strategy to market Cape Town as a great destination to visit, live, work, study, play and invest in was in place.
Chief executive of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, said a new self-drive domestic campaign would be launched next week to boost tourism.
“We anticipate that, locally, we’ll be a popular destination as travellers look for a place that offers a bit of everything – beach, mountains and nature,” he said.