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Hotels in Cape Town have been hard at work, preparing for an influx of domestic and international tourists this summer. The city’s tourism industry took a hard knock during the Covid-19 pandemic. South Africa’s Covid-19 restrictions as well as international lockdowns and red-lists have also had a damaging effect on tourism.

The sector is optimistic that South Africa’s vaccination drive as well as Cape Town hotels’ stringent safety measures will encourage tourists to visit the country. The City of Cape Town has also implemented a strategy to help the tourism industry recover, basing its approach on global best practice.
The city is hopeful that this will be a bumper tourism season, which will provide a much-needed boost for the ailing sector.

Cape Town’s tourism industry

Cape Town’s economy is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, David Maynier, the Western Cape MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities, told News24. He said that in 2019 the tourism sector R15.5 billion in gross value add and supported 174,982 jobs in the Western Cape. Maynier estimates that there have been 75,477 job losses in the province’s tourism sector as a result of the pandemic.

Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, said that the tourism sector contributed nearly 3% (R130 billion) to the country’s GDP in 2018. The tourism industry also provided 113,000 jobs in Cape Town in that year.

Hotels in Cape Town were hit hard by the pandemic, especially as though they were only just starting to recover from the 2017/2018 drought.

Alderman Vos pointed out in a public statement that the UK’s red-list caused massive losses for South Africa’s tourism industry given that it was the country’s biggest tourist source market. He claims that the local economy lost R26 million of revenue during each day that the city didn’t see these travellers.

Cape Town’s tourism revival strategy

The City of Cape Town has implemented a tourism ten-point strategy to revive the tourism industry and to ensure the safety of locals and visitors. It has been lobbying the national government to ease Covid-19 restrictions that make it difficult for tourism and hospitality establishments to operate in a financially sustainable manner.

The plan includes providing relief for tourism businesses that faced a cash flow crisis to help them survive, and leveraging partnerships and agreements to ensure that demand flows to Cape Town. Domestic tourism campaigns to generate local demand for the tourism industry are being run as well as international marketing campaigns to encourage tourists from across the globe to visit the city.

The strategy helps ensure that tourism establishments implement all Covid-19 regulations to keep visitors safe and limit the spread of the virus. It actively promotes Cape Towns as a resilient and responsible tourism destination. It also promotes Cape Town as a career-destination where people can come to work or to set up their businesses.

Cape Town hotels keeping guests safe

Cape Town hotels have pulled out all the stops to ensure that their guests are as safe as possible from Covid-19 during their stay. Extra safety and hygiene measures are in place to limit the spread of the virus. Most hotels are employing a combination of the below tactics.

Mandatory temperature checks and filling out medical questionnaires at check in are required by most hotels. Many hotels have opted for a paperless, digital approach where guests are asked to fill out their details and send a copy of their ID or passport before arrival. Upon arrival, luggage is sanitised before guests are shown to their rooms.

Hand and luggage sanitisers are placed at entrances and other strategic places for guests to access. Hotels require their guests to wear masks in all common areas and many provides masks, handwipes and hand sanitisers.

Rooms are sanitised between guests, and some are even sealed off before new visitors arrive to ensure that they remain uncontaminated. Some Cape Town hotels are using an app which allows guests to unlock their rooms with a virtual card. Scatter cushions and throws have been removed from the beds and chairs in several hotels to limit the spread of the virus, while coffee and tea is provided in sealed packages.

Some hotel restaurants do mandatory temperature checks before guests dine. While most restaurants have done away with buffet meals, those that have maintained it keep their food sealed in containers or allow staff that are standing behind safety screens to dish up for guests. Seating arrangements have been changed to ensure adequate social distance between diners.

Visit Cape Town

Cape Town offers internationally renowned, iconic attractions which visitors can expect to enjoy when they visit the city. The tourism industry has done everything it can to ensure that guests have a memorable and safe experience. This includes strict Covid-19 safety measures to ensure that limit the spread of Covid-19 during the busy season.

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