Cape Town’s Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) is leveraging the remote working trend and has welcomed so-called digital nomads in the WiFi lounge at the top of Table Mountain using the TMACC Cable Card, where they can enjoy ample working space, refreshments and food, stable Internet and stunning views.
MD of the TMACC, Wahida Parker, said the emergence of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic was a valuable opportunity for South Africa’s tourism sector to draw in tourists and self-employed individuals or employees from across the country and internationally.
In 2021, a survey conducted in South Africa by global recruiting company Michael Page found that up to 87% of participants indicated that remote working did not affect their productivity, and more than 50% said they felt more motivated working remotely.
“These statistics reflect a strong case for remote working among global and local workforces. The future of work will demand more flexibility from employers, reflecting a need for better quality of life among workforces," said Parker.
She pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had drastically changed perceptions of remote work – for the better. Before 2020, the world of work was confined by cultural and structural barriers. Subsequently, the pandemic has forced companies to break through both and has catalysed a fundamental operational shift where work can be combined with travel.
“In the past, this way of working was restricted to travel agents, writers, pilots and cabin crew members. Lockdown restrictions have led to more and more companies adopting a ‘work from home’ culture, allowing employees in various fields of work to work remotely," explained Parker.
To accommodate international remote workers, the South African government has taken steps to draw foreign remote workers by implementing a remote work visa. The City of Cape Town has also welcomed the remote work model and the implementation of a remote work visa by government.
“By making it easier for digital nomads to work in South Africa, the tourism sector will also be able to benefit from an of an influx of foreign tourists in the country, who are looking to explore all of South Africa’s breath-taking natural wonders,” said Parker.
In 2021, Cape Town was named one of the “Best Cities for Remote Working” by global housing rental platform, Nestpick. The City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism have also launched incentives and campaigns to draw remote workers to the city, as their presence brings significant value to the tourism industry and the economy.
“In addition to our local and international campaigns to bring tourists to Cape Town, the City is working on the ground to boost businesses. Through Cape Town Tourism, which is funded by the City, we are helping to prepare small businesses and communities at large for the visitor influx," said James Vos, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.