City advocates for partnerships that drive open skies, streamlined visa regime and industry growth
16 September 2022
STATEMENT BY ALDERMAN JAMES VOS, MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
This week I represented the City of Cape Town at the inaugural Tourism Business Council of South Africa conference where private and public sector leaders discussed challenges within the industry and what actions must be taken to unlock opportunities.
I joined Standard Bank Chairperson, Jacko Maree, Tourvest CEO, Sean Joubert, Industrial Development Corporation of SA CEO, Tsokolo Nchocho, FlySafair CEO, Elmar Conradie, and Department of Tourism Director-General, Victor Tharage for an in-depth panel discussion on private-public-partnerships for industry development and investments.
Cape Town Tourism (CTT) Chief Executive Officer Enver Duminy and board chairperson Brett Hendricks attended as well as part of Team Cape Town.
My input revolved around the City’s strong relations across industries with the private sector. Our partnership with our official Destination Marketing Organisation, CTT, allows us to support more than 1000 tourism businesses in the metro, such as individual tour guides, restaurants, tour operators, and accommodation providers, while simultaneously championing the Cape Town brand on the global stage through innovative campaigns and partnerships.
Another example of successful private-public partnerships is that of the City and Wesgro which administers the Air Access, Convention Bureau, and Cruise Cape Town initiatives.
Through Air Access, we are connecting Cape Town International Airport with more key source markets. Airlines including Delta, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Air Belgium, and Air Mauritius are scheduled to start their routes to Cape Town International in the coming weeks.
Similarly, the Convention Bureau has secured bids that are estimated to contribute almost R100 million to the business events value chain over the next five years.
Thanks to the promotion of Cape Town as a cruise destination, we are looking forward to a total of 104 ship visits carrying more than 195 000 visitors over the upcoming 2022/23 season.
Promoting Cape Town as a cruise destination is further helped by the fact that the city boasts a world-class cruise terminal managed by the V&A Waterfront. I made the point that the V&A’s management of this terminal exemplifies the value and success of private-public partnerships for the benefit of tourism and the economy at large.
At the panel, I again raised concerns about streamlining the country’s visa regime with a focus on the implementation of the remote work visa which there appears to be little National Government movement on.
More than a year ago, I submitted a proposal to the National Government on how it could implement the visa by simply amending Section 11 of the Immigration Act, which relates to an extension of visas beyond 90 days for specific activities. This is because remote workers tend to stay beyond three months in a location.
A third matter raised was that of opening up the country’s air transport market.
I pointed out that where implemented, it has resulted in increased utilisation of airspace, more competitive fares and more choices for travellers. This will need National Government to liberalise measures.
It is through tourism that we can kick our economy into high gear. A recent report showed that South Africa’s tourism sector is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 7,6% annually over the next decade and by 2032, the sectoral contribution to GDP could hit more than R5546 billion and create over 800 000 jobs. We must take these steps to realise these gains for our people.
CAPTION: Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth Alderman James Vos (centre) in a panel discussion on public-private partnerships at the TBCSA conference.