A crucial part of Cape Town’s tourism recovery strategy is adapting its tourism offering to suit a post-COVID world.
In a recent webinar – hosted by Africa Travel Week – Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, and CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, discussed the Mother City’s constantly adjusting recovery strategy.
Duminy said the city had been charged with developing a plan for tourism recovery as soon as lockdown had begun. Due to the factor of unpredictability as to how long restrictions on travel would last, the plan had to be flexible, he said.
“We need to adjust our plans to support a different type of tourism,” said Duminy, highlighting the fact that health and safety protocols in a post-COVID world would change the way businesses approached tourism.
“Before the coronavirus we achieved double-digit growth in tourism in Cape Town and now what we need to worry about is under-tourism,” said Vos, agreeing with Duminy that tourism would “never be the same again”.
“It was important for us to come up with strategies that would reshape and reconceptualise tourism post-COVID-19. We are now given the opportunity to rebuild our industry, not just to what it was before but into something even better.”
Recovery is the third phase of the city’s strategy. Vos said part of this phase would be identifying new tourism experiences and reshaping the geography of Cape Town’s tourism. “Recovery will happen and I’m resolute that Cape Town will be ready to welcome back her tourists.
“To save and reboot our tourism economy we need to deliver on the following: in-destination readiness, with all safety protocols implemented; and external communication that informs tourists of our state of readiness,” said Vos.
He said the recovery plan would take advantage of ‘reimagine the future of tourism’ with an increase in airport branding with tailored and targeted messaging for international markets to keep Cape Town top of mind.