Published on : Thursday, February 24, 2022
Tourism in Cape Town, South Africa, is gaining traction across the city with hands-on support from industry bodies seeking to drive accessibility and sustainability within local communities, including Khayelitsha.
Cape Town Tourism’s (CTT) Board Meeting was recently hosted by Spade Boutique Hotel & Spa, the first four star-rated establishment of its kind in Khayelitsha, as part of an ongoing effort to provide direct oversight, input and strategic planning to tourism businesses within the community rather than remotely from city offices.
Spade Boutique Hotel & Spa CEO Annette Skaap is very pleased by the collaboration: “City-wide partnerships provide a way forward for businesses within local neighbourhoods, a mutual opportunity for everyone to expand the tourism marketplace,” Skaap says.
Cape Town Tourism Chairperson, Brett Hendricks, welcomes this initiative, which, he believes, will provide substantial benefits to local businesses as well as to visitors to the city:
“Cape Town is rich with experiences beyond the world-class attractions which are rightly enjoyed by visitors; our local cultural heritage comes to life when you visit any of our neighbourhoods and local communities. It makes sense to introduce a wider audience to the vibrant tourism experiences that add an essential dimension to our city. As an organisation, we encourage tangible initiatives to produce meaningful results”, Hendricks states.
The CTT Board Development Fund (BDF) has long assisted entrepreneurship and innovation within local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). CTT’s board of directors established the fund in 2013, waiving their monthly board remuneration to instead support and develop tourism businesses. Benefits of this programme include a cash injection and customised business interventions designed around the specific needs of each business. The programme supports the sustainability of these tourism businesses and creates a marketing and media platform which improves their business profile.
Setbacks in recent years have reinforced that industry transformation must be crisis-resistant, and we have the capacity to contribute towards this resilience in a meaningful way. An example of how we have done this is our brand-new experience called ”From Township to Terroir. We have created a new narrative and route by having Groot Constantia partner with 4-Roomed Ekasi in Khayelitsha to create a bespoke food and wine journey, combining the colonial past with a vibrant eKasi food experience and we are looking at expanding this moving forward.
Ultimately, we hope to inspire other organisations to invest in supporting small businesses,” Hendricks adds.
CTT, together with the City of Cape Town are committed to supporting ‘tourism-preneurs’ as the industry sustains thousands of jobs in this city.
City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth Alderman James Vos is an ardent supporter of local community tourism development.
“Tourism holds immense potential for every neighbourhood in the city. The challenge we face is in driving industry sustainability via platforms such as our Business Hub, an Enterprise Development initiative, so that businesses can weather such adversities as the current pandemic, by providing access to tools essential to growth and survival. Recovery after a very challenging two years is our main priority at this point. Throughout this tough period, we have consistently worked on re-looking the ways in which we support our SMMEs and the way we tell our stories to increase differentiation and to remain inclusive.
Simultaneously, we are helping through various activities to develop tourism businesses from the ground up. This includes business-to-business workshops, a Neighbourhood Experiences Training Manual developed with CPUT that’s available in three languages and includes detailed modules on cultural understandings and packaging your business for tourists, and free CTT membership during most of the pandemic. In fact, development of ‘tourism-preneurs’ is one of my biggest priorities in this tenure.” Alderman Vos says.
“There’s one way to appreciate this exciting new season in local tourism, and that’s to explore it. It’s time for us all to find our freedom!” Hendricks concludes.