Despite a water crisis, Cape Town and the Western Cape are open and ready to welcome two million more international tourists in the upcoming peak season.

Wesgro has reassured visitors that steps have been taken to reduce water consumption and ensure that supplies last through the tourist season. This comes after strict water restrictions were implemented earlier this month.

According to the City of Cape Town, the current dam storage level is 37.2% with useable water at 27.2%.

Beverley Schäfer, MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, stressed that “tourists will absolutely not be turned away in the Western Cape, and there is no need to cancel any bookings for the upcoming high season”.

“The Western Cape government has implemented a range of water restrictions in the province to limit water usage and ensure a steady supply in the wake of the upcoming high tourist season,” she said.

Hotels and tourism establishments in the province have all come on board to implement water-saving measures, and a variety of awareness campaigns can be found in hotel lobbies across the province.

Some hotels have even established their own private water supplies, removing pressure from the provincial water grid. These will be used for recreational water use in swimming pools, day spas etc.

Schäfer added that the Western Cape had a comprehensive and dedicated disaster management plan in place, which would come into effect should the drought necessitate it.

“As tourism is a leading source of investment in the province, the Western Cape government has done everything to ensure that the sector is not harmed by the drought, and tourists need not worry about their upcoming holidays in the Cape,” she said.

However, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, advised visitors to be water wise when visiting the province.

“The severity and duration of this drought could not have been predicted. We are managing the situation with every drought intervention that we have at our disposal. We have not let Cape Town down before and we do not intend to do so now.”

  • Wesgro reported that international arrivals to Cape Town had grown by 27% year-on-year for the first half of 2017. Last year, the international terminal at Cape Town International Airport processed just under two million passengers, and in 2017, it is expected to grow to 2.5 million.