Many tourists are under the impression that the crippling drought in the Mother City is still ongoing despite the dams now being an average of 73% full. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, companies have not yet updated their travel advisories to reflect that the water crisis has passed, which is hurting Cape Town’s tourism and hotel industries.
This sentiment was reflected at the World Travel Market London on Tuesday when the Chief Director of the Green Economy at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Helen Davies, said that tourists who have avoided Cape Town as a result of the drought must “come back”.
“The Western Cape and Cape Town are incredible destinations. Anyone who stayed away because of the drought must please come back,” she said.
As reported by Fin24, Davies said that a total of 330 000 jobs in the Western Cape rely on the tourism industry and tourists use only a small percentage of its water.
Janine Myburgh, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce, says there will be more fiscal growth for Cape Town’s tourism industry post-drought. “With our dams at double the volume of last year and the exceptional water-saving efforts of domestic and business users, our situation with water security is exceptionally better. In addition, we also have private desalination plants in operation by hotels such as Tsogo Sun, further ensuring that water supply will never be disrupted for visitors,” she says.
Myburgh also believes the hotel industry could use social media to inform tourists the drought in Cape Town is over and will not affect the comfort of their stay. “It would, however, be a good start to let the travel industry as a whole know that, although we are in a water-scarce region, our taps will not run dry.”
“However, we saw the damaging effects of the term Day Zero … so it is crucial to communicate in a way that reassures rather than scares,” says Myburgh.
Picture: Facebook/The Cullinan