The message is clear – keep booking clients to visit Cape Town. South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, and COO Tsogo Sun Hotels, Ravi Nadasen attended a Johannesburg panel discussion hosted by SATSA on the Cape Town water crisis.
The good news is that the water crisis will have little impact on key tourist attraction sites and the city has already begun diversifying its water sources. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is already off the municipal grid, a desalination plant is being installed to supply water to The Westin, the Cullinan and V&A Waterfront hotels, and details are being finalised to source alternative water supplies for Table Mountain and other key sites. Hotels and other businesses are also doing what they can to take the burden off the city’s grid.
It’s clear that the messaging to overseas clients going forward needs to change. GDS data on forward air bookings into Cape Town from various airports around the world reveals an average decline of 13% in booking for April 2018 compared to April 2017.
In an attempt to change perceptions, Sisa Ntshona is embarking on an international roadshow with the aim of speaking to international media, speaking to the customers who sell South Africa, and making sure international bodies such as UNWTO recognise how South Africa is leading the conversation on water sustainability in tourism.
To keep you up to date with any progress, we’ve launched a Cape Town Water Crisis Information centre on the SATSA website. You can access the page here.
Tim Harris will address both the SATSA Western Cape and KZN Chapter meetings on the water crisis in upcoming meetings, 15 February and 26 February respectively.