Mask up, and adhere to Covid-19 protocols to keep Cape Town’s visitor economy open
31 March 2021
The City of Cape Town, together with the key tourism and hospitality bodies, are calling on locals, visitors and businesses to continue to adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols as we approach upcoming public holidays and religious celebrations to minimise a resurgence in Covid-19 infections and prevent a potential third wave. We all need to work together to protect our health, while ensuring that business can continue and the economy can grow. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town facilitated a joint tourism readiness meeting with Fedhasa(Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa), Cape Town Tourism, SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry) and Skal International, last week, where it was agreed that all the necessary measures should be taken to enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer, in a responsible manner, to ensure that the visitor economy does not suffer another setback. Skal International is a professional organisation of tourism leaders from around the world, that promotes global tourism and friendship.
The visitor economy is everyone’s business. Tourism is the economic lifeline for many businesses in Cape Town and supports thousands of jobs.
‘The City, together, with key tourism and hospitality bodies are calling on locals, visitors and businesses to take responsibility to stop the spread of Covid-19. All of us – businesses, residents and tourists – need to check our behaviour and adhere to safety precautions, so that Cape Town can remain open for business,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos.
The rules are simple, but require all of us to take personal responsibility to wear our masks in public, maintain social distancing of at least 1,5 metres, always washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, and avoiding large gatherings.
‘We need to ensure continued compliance of all Covid-19 protocols across the tourism value chain for the safety of our visitors and locals as well as employees and clients. Stats SA Accommodation and Food & Beverage key findings reports for January 2021 showed a significant decline. Any further restrictions will have a detrimental impact on the tourism and hospitality businesses already struggling to keep their doors open and retain staff. We are expecting a likely increase in domestic travel over the coming period and therefore adherence to Covid-19 protocols are vital. I am of the opinion that continued trading with strict compliance to health measures, combined with mass vaccination is the only solution to get the industry back stronger than before.
‘I am pleased to say that we are constantly implementing measures to drive the various stages of economic recovery and tourism readiness as outlined in our recently adopted ten-point tourism strategy. I trust that these initiatives will help tourism flourish in the challenging weeks and months ahead, within the framework of strict Covid-19 protocols,’ said Alderman Vos.
Brett Hendricks, chairperson of the Cape Town Tourism Board, said they are seeing consumer sentiment change and more people are expressing their willingness to travel in the near future with consumers feeling more equipped to deal with the anticipated viral waves.
‘In order to keep this momentum going and to continue to appeal to visitors to visit Cape Town, we absolutely have to ensure that as an industry, we are not only talking about adhering to the rules, but together we are leading the charge in this regard. We are asking that everyone join us in ensuring that Cape Town is a safe, healthy and responsible destination to visit. We need to keep each other honest and remain vigilant if, as an industry, as businesses, we have any hope of surviving these challenging times. Let’s do it for Cape Town,’ said Mr Hendricks.
‘A year on since South Africa first went into lockdown at the end of March 2020, our industry has learnt a great deal – most notably that it’s in our hands to help prevent lockdowns that threaten our businesses and to keep our guests and staff safe. Through the implementation of common sense practices and execution of the Fedhasa protocols, our members endeavour to play our part in keeping South Africa safe, the reputation of our industry intact and our doors open,’ said Jeremy Clayton, chairperson of FEDHASA.