This week, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, addressed female tourism business leaders at the Women in Tourism Western Cape Annual General Meeting where he noted their successes in the industry and highlighted exciting plans for the months ahead.  Read more below:

‘Tourism was one of the sectors hardest hit by Covid-19 and it’s been a long and difficult road to recovery but I’m proud to say we’ve witnessed some remarkable successes in recent months.

‘The latest data indicates that traveller demand has continued to increase despite rising costs and ongoing challenges. Cape Town International Airport reported a 67% recovery in domestic arrivals and an 86% recovery for international arrivals in July, compared to arrivals in 2019,’ said Alderman Vos.

Pre-pandemic, women made up almost 70% of tourism employees in Africa, far higher than the global estimate of 54%. In South Africa’s accommodation sector, women account for 60% of all employees.

‘If South Africa can enact a remote worker visa, it would be a significant boost for businesses and the economy at large. This revenue would reach not just accommodation but also educational institutions, transport, retail, and restaurants. As such, I’m very excited about the partnership between Cape Town Tourism, the City’s official Destination Marketing Organisation, and Airbnb to showcase the Mother City as an ideal destination for remote workers. Cape Town is already one of the most popular locations globally for digital nomads and a visa would be a major drawcard to entice even more,’ said Alderman Vos.

While there is a far higher representation of women in South African tourism when compared to other industries, Alderman Vos noted that more women were needed to fill senior positions.

‘Studies show that more women in positions of leadership lead to more innovation within that company while other research indicates that empowering women is one of the most effective ways to create change in communities and developing countries.

‘There are numerous City initiatives aimed at supporting the development of small businesses. CTT has rolled out a Neighbourhood Experience Development training manual to help guide tourism SMMEs in developing and readying their organisations for the holiday season. They also host a series of workshops and networking events for their 1000-plus members,’ said Alderman Vos.

With more events, cruise ships, and flights from the US, UK and Europe scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, Cape Town’s tourism and hospitality industries can expect an influx of travellers.

‘I hope you understand the value that each of you bring to your community, city, and country. You are the reason that Cape Town is more than a holiday destination and is a triple-A-rated city. This is a term usually used for credit ratings but in this instance, I mean three things when it comes to Cape Town: accommodation, attractions and aviation. Keep innovating and keep pushing so that we keep that triple-A-rating,’ said Alderman Vos.

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