The Travel Wise initiative to ensure the safety and comfort of an influx of tourists to the Mother City this festive season has paid off incredibly well, according to a high-ranking City of Cape Town member.

City of Cape Town’s (CoCT) Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management and head of the Travel Wise programme, James Vos, launched this initiative last month.

Among other measures, the programme saw the deployment of Travel Wise ambassadors throughout the city over the festive season to provide tourists with assistance and a feeling of safety.

Speaking to Tourism Update today (Thursday), Vos had only positive feedback on the project, noting that the ambassadors were less about providing physical safety and more about providing visitors with the comforting knowledge of knowing that they are present.

“Visitor comfort is one of the outcomes of our new tourism development strategy that I adopted last year,” he said, adding that he was very proud to be able to achieve this ambitious goal.

Travel Wise ambassadors can be spotted anywhere from the Bo Kaap, to Adelaide Street and even the V&A Waterfront, and are easily identified by their ‘Love Cape Town’ branded clothing.

“They performed incredibly well over the festive season,” said Vos, highlighting how having the ambassadors on the ground allowed the city to intervene in several ATM and taxi scams.

Travel Wise’s ‘Band-Aid’ programme will be implemented immediately in the event of a serious crime, with Vos explaining that this provides tourists with care and comfort after experiencing any form of crime – from a stolen handbag to a rental car bumper bashing.

“While the CoCT and Cape Town Tourism play a supportive role in ensuring visitor safety and comfort across the city, the responsibility of policing is primarily that of the South African Police Service as the lead agency,” clarified Vos.

Police in Cape Town seem to also be stepping up to the plate. Tourism Update spoke to a tourist who visited Bloubergstrand over the festive period, and mentioned that she had witnessed a noticeable police presence in the area, making her feel an increased sense of safety.