Western Cape Tourism Industry must prepare for Summer Season

Alan Winde

Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development & Tourism

“Everyone that owns or runs a tourism attraction or destination in the Western Cape must get serious about business. We cannot have any of our attractions and destinations not operating at 110%. During 2011, the Western Cape received 1 391 228 tourists, who in turn spent over R18.2 billion in our Province. This injection of visitors created growth and jobs for our economy. I would like to see these figures grow even higher, and we all need to play our part in ensuring that tourists that arrive in our Province receive excellent service. Our tourism industry will only grow if we all work Better Together.”

“There has been much concern about the withdrawal of the SAA – London direct route and its effect on tourism in our Province. We would welcome the re-instatment of this route. We are already looking to other regions to bring tourists to the Western Cape and are focusing much of our attention on drawing visitors to our Province from the rest of South Africa and other African countries. My Department is currently working on a business case to boost Air Access between Cape Town and key African destinations to secure both business and leisure tourism. I also met with Lufthansa last week and they have agreed to give us the Cape Town – Munich route, provided that we work to fill the seats. We are also looking into new markets such as Northern Italy”, Minister Winde added.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Chief Director of Tourism, Arts and Entertainment, Labeeqah Schuurman, also briefed the meeting on the draft Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Bill.

“On 7 December 2011, Cabinet provided in-principle support to form a single economic development delivery agency. On 30 May 2012, Cabinet granted in-principle approval to prepare draft legislation to repeal the Western Cape Tourism Act and to provide for the amendment of the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency Amendment Act. This will allow Wesgro to be the provincial economic development delivery agency by focusing on trade and investment promotion, the promotion of key competitive sectors and the promotion of the Province as a tourist destination.”

“Currently, the Wesgro Act is being amended and the provincial Tourism Act is being repealed. This is evidenced in the draft Tourism, Trade and Investment Bill which is focused on incorporating the functions of tourism destination marketing into the existing legislation of Wesgro. It also allows for the alignment of the corporate governance structure with existing public entities and some technical corrections. The draft Bill is being consulted with the Boards of Wesgro and CTRU; Municipalities; the Tourism, Arts and Entertainment Partnership; and the Standing Committee. Thereafter, it will be prepared for submission to the Provincial Cabinet and then be submitted to the Provincial Legislature to follow the normal public participation process”, Ms Schuurman added.

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