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STATEMENT BY THE MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS

I fully support the call by tourism industry bodies, including Cape Town Tourism, to remove South Africa from the United Kingdom’s so-called ‘red list’. The UK is our biggest tourist source market and so the decision to put South Africa on this red list – which dissuades travellers from going to certain countries because of the list’s very high quarantine costs – has resulted in us losing out on a huge number of British travellers. Read more below:

As South Africa’s vaccine rollout picks up – and experts saying it is catching up with the best in the world – in addition to the news that we have passed the peak of the third wave, it is time for us to show that we are indeed able to open up to the world and welcome back guests. Surveys also show that a majority of UK travellers are eager to visit South Africa as soon as possible.

As a City we are working closely with all stakeholders, such as our Destination Marketing Partner, Cape Town Tourism, to amplify messaging about Cape Town in all our key source markets and beyond, while ensuring that we support local tourism and hospitality stakeholders in being absolutely ready for the busy summer season.

Last year in the midst of the hard lockdown, our team developed a Tourism Bounce-Back-Strategy to ensure Cape Town’s tourism and related sectors could get back on their feet as soon as possible. This included the marketing and communications approach found in our six pillars – to Visit, Live, Work, Study, Play & Invest in Cape Town. It allows us to provide a rich and holistic view of all the city has to offer across the six themes. As part of this, we have invested in airport branding and targeted messaging in many of our key source markets to visit Cape Town.

We will also be using technology to raise awareness and promote different kinds of experiences for different kinds of travellers. Campaigning has also taken off for the launch of a remote work visa because we are aware that there has been a major shift in the typical activities of travellers, many of whom now take their work on the road with them. With the remote work visa, we will be able to attract more of these big spend travelling professionals to our shores. Cape Town is already recognised as a preferred global choice for digital nomads and this is something that we can and should capitalise on.

I am very excited to share details of the pocket-friendly campaign targeting domestic travellers for whom affordability is top of mind. As part of this campaign, Cape Town Tourism has compiled a list of tips on interesting and affordable things to do and places to see. It is important that we stimulate supply and demand for local businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries.

I welcome the slight relaxation of lockdown measures and encourage all South Africans to often wash hands, mask up and socially distance so that we can responsibly and confidently welcome visitors to our magnificent city.

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