Cape water crisis: How tourists can ‘Save like a local’

2017-10-11 08:56 - Unathi Nkanjeni
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - With the Western Cape open and ready to welcome two million more international tourists in the upcoming peak season, the City of Cape Town is trying by all means to make this summer a memorable one without any water shortages.

Recently announcing that it will be reducing swimming pool access for summer, now the City is set to kick off its summer water saving campaigns.

Launching one of its key initiatives - ‘Save like a local’ campaign - the City’s focus is on local and international tourism alongside the existing city-wide drought interventions.

As dam storage levels are at 37,8% with usable water at 27,8%, according to the City, this initiative will be used to drive awareness about the serious drought crisis, especially among visitors, while at the same time keeping the message as light and inspirational as possible.

Tourism sector to spread awareness

Relying heavily on the tourism sector to spread awareness, the City says it will be placing key water saving messages strategically across the City, including airport billboards - in multiple international languages - and branded flags in the CBD and Waterfront areas.

"Mobile billboards on beaches and at tourist centres will also be used to amplify the message that Cape Town is a water-scarce region which is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history," says the City.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member,  Councillor Xanthea Limberg says all options are being explored to spread awareness at road entry points to the Western Cape and Cape Town.

"We have also started reaching out to cellphone service providers to see how they can come on board to assist us to call on our visitors and locals to save water," says Limberg.

"The New Normal requires us to adapt the way that we have been doing things, in all aspects of our lives. If this year’s tourist season is similar to last year’s, we can expect a bumper season and we will need all visitors to save like a local and follow the example of many of our water ambassadors."

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: 9 ways this hotel reduced its YOY consumption by 17%

Limberg says the City also has engagements with the tourism and hospitality industry, such as with the hospitality association Fedhasa. 

"Domestic users who permanently reside in Cape Town will remain the largest users. Our experience shows that the local outflow of people over the festive season and the closure of some businesses and industry, such as the construction industry, mostly balances the inflow of local and foreign tourists. We will all have to do our utmost to ensure that we spread the message of saving water and the restrictions that we must all adhere to," she adds. 

In addition, the City asks all tourism and related businesses to consider adding contextual digital adverts to their website homepages and booking technology to drive awareness.

SEE: Water Crisis: Cape Hotels forced to get innovative

"All operations that are required during this time will be handled in a sensitive manner, balancing the requirements of this city and its people with the drought situation that we are in," says Limberg.

"It must also be borne in mind that this is a dynamic situation and the City will place further restrictions in place and lower water usage targets at short notice if required."

An online toolkit, which will be updated regularly, has been developed with various resources to help to drive this message. Please see the website to access material.

What to read next on Traveller24

#WildlifeWednesday: These African Penguins will waddle right into your heart

Day-tripping the Southern tip of Africa

Indulge in high tea and affordable luxury at Pepper Club Hotel