The City of Cape Town is encouraging both visitors and locals to explore the city’s many lesser-known tourism gems.

Newly appointed Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, hit the ground running on a walking tour of Khayelitsha for a first-hand experience of what’s on offer.

Cape Town is best known globally for its Big Six attractions – the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Cape Point, Groot Constantia, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Robben Island.

However, there are a host of undiscovered, budget-friendly things to do in the growing neighbourhoods of the city, according to Vos.

The City, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism, is driving an initiative to showcase local neighbourhood businesses and to inspire travel to these vibrant areas as part of the new ‘Pocket-friendly Cape Town’ campaign (#pocketfriendlycapetown). It provides visitors and locals with tips on interesting things to do and places to see without spending a fortune.

Vos and Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, recently embarked on a walking tour of Khayelitsha and met up with Juma Mkwela, Founder and Owner of Juma’s Art Tours and Founder of the new Khayelitsha Art Hub. The Art Hub provides a space for the community’s children to enjoy afternoon art lessons, funded by Juma’s Township Art Tours. Visitors are encouraged to contribute toward enhancing the community by painting murals or planting home gardens.

The whistle-stop tour then visited Golden Flowers, a company that’s motivated by sustainable manufacturing of flowers from recycled materials.

Up next was ABCD Concepts, a tour company with a difference that offers bicycle tours, jogging through the neighbourhood and nights out at some of Khayelitsha’s hippest taverns and dance halls.

Vos heard about the various packages on offer before embarking on a quick cycle tour to 4Roomed eKasi Culture, a vibrant eatery owned and run by former MasterChef SA contestant, Abigail Mbalo-Mokoena. The restaurant offers delectable cuisine that can be enjoyed by visitors on a charming terrace.

ABCD Concepts and 4Roomed eKasi Culture are the most recent recipients of Cape Town Tourism Board’s Development Fund, which provides support and mentorship to promising, innovative businesses operated by historically disadvantaged individuals.

The final stop on Vos’s Khayelitsha experience was Siki’s Koffee Kafe, where Khayelitsha’s creatives meet to exchange ideas. Siki worked on expanding the Vida franchise in London and now he has brought coffee culture to Khayelitsha.

In closing, Vos said: “The City is committed to diversifying our tourism landscape in Cape Town by promoting products and attractions throughout the city and, by so doing, breaking the perception that tourism is only centered in certain parts of the city and around the Big Six attractions.

“Cape Town is a value-for-money destination. If you want to get to the heart of tourism in Cape Town, I would strongly suggest including some of the neighbourhood tourism gems in your itinerary.

“We will endeavour to open up tourism offerings to showcase the diversity of the destination and especially previously marginalised areas from main tourism routes. In this manner we will walk the talk to enhance the city’s economic value through tourism and advance job creation.”