In response to a severe drought, Cape Town and the Western Cape is building a more sustainable tourism destination. Citizens have, over the past three years, cut water consumption by almost 60% - a performance not yet matched by any other major city globally - while new sources of water are being added. Efforts by the government, citizens and tourism industry have emerged as best practice for sustainable water management and promoting "water-wise tourism" in the face of climate change.
The new water programme by the City of Cape Town includes three additional, sustainable sources of water, namely: groundwater abstraction from underground aquifers, temporary desalination and re-claimed/re-used water. It already supplies 12% of Cape Town’s daily usage, and this will increase to more than 45% within a year, at current consumption patterns.
It is vital that all residents, visitors, and businesses continue to save water, while this augmentation comes online.
These steps will secure the sustainability of the region’s economy, its communities and natural resources, and employment. They will also help build a more resilient destination.
International tourists, who only make up only 1% of the population of the city at any one time, contribute to a multi-billion dollar sector that supports over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Western Cape. Furthermore, the growth of tourism can support the creation of thousands of new jobs in the Cape in the coming years, but long-term benefits would depend on the industry embracing the kinds of sustainable practices that have been adopted by many Cape Town and Western Cape tourism businesses.
It is for this reason that the tourism industry has taken a leadership role in working with the local communities and government to deliver more sustainable business practices. This approach by the industry has ensured that we have remained open for business and open for tourism.
These efforts have been recognised by UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvilli who has said: “We recognise the huge efforts that South Africa, especially the Cape Town local authorities, are undertaking in addressing the water situation and the inclusive approach that has been taken throughout the campaign in raising awareness for the end users and tourists in becoming more responsible.”
Join global marketing campaign
In order to ensure that the message goes out to the world that Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business - and welcomes both international and domestic visitors to enjoy our unparalleled natural beauty - industry partners and tourism organisations will embark on a joint global marketing campaign.
The campaign - which will be the first time many partners have contributed in terms of funding and resources - will be driven mainly through digital media and partners’ existing marketing channels. It will focus on engaging with potential visitors in our main source markets such as Europe, USA, Asia and South Africa.
The campaign is set to launch in August 2018.