Cape Town - With tourism arrivals set to increase this peak season, Wesgro and the Western Cape Government have announced a new campaign to help tourists and the tourism industry save water.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, says that online airline bookings showed that tourism arrivals for December and January "showed 5% year-on-year increase". In 2016, 160 511 international tourists and 312 246 domestic tourists travelled to the region in December.
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According to Winde, between January and March 2017, the Western Cape attracted more than 1 million international and domestic visitors to its shores.
"Of these visitors, 472 156 foreign tourist arrivals were recorded during this period, a 6% increase from the same period last year. This resulted in a foreign direct spend of R5.7 billion and a 1.2% increase in expenditure compared to the first quarter in 2016," says Winde.
“This is great news for our economy. We know that the tourism sector supports more than 300 000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the Western Cape and contributed over R38 billion to our economy last year."
Sharing the water saving message
Winde says that while growing tourism, it must be sustainable. "While international tourists only make up around 1% of our total population during the peak season, it is still important that we share our water savings message with tourists.”
At the start of December, the Western Cape Government, local municipalities and tourism officers will host awareness events along the N2, N1 and N7. “We’ll be distributing around 20 000 hand sanitisers, branded with water savings tips. Through this event, we will be welcoming tourists into our province and making sure they are aware of the water crisis.”
According to Winde, there will also be knock-and-drops to petrol stations and guest houses across the province, and tourist guides will also spread water-saving awareness.
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Winde says the Western Cape Government was completing case studies of best practice on water-savings in each sector, to share with businesses.
Wesgro and the Western Cape Government, in partnership with CapeNature and Airbnb, have also started distributing 2 300 low-flow shower heads to guesthouses, B&B’s and Airbnb hosts across the province.
The water saving campaigns aim to save at least 70 million litres of water a year.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris says that while international tourists only add approximately 1% to the population of the Cape at any given time during the peak season, they will contribute more than R5 billion to the provincial economy in just 3 months. "This means economic growth and more jobs," says Harris.
However, Wesgro appeals to tourists to do everything they can to save water. "Reduce your water consumption to under 87 litres per person per day,' says Harris, adding that Wesgro is doing what it can to ensure this message gets to tourists and tourism establishments.
Uber: Ride and donate to the water crisis
In another step towards assisting the water crisis, Uber is offering its users to ride for a cause and help to provide clean water to those who need it most.
The ride-hailing app says that until 7 December, it is challenging its customers to ride for a reason, and will "donate 2% of Uber’s service
fee for every trip taken on the UberWATER view to Water Shortage South Africa".
How it works?
Open your Uber app until 7 December 2017, swipe left on the vehicle options
and select the ‘UberWATER’ view, request a ride as usual and spread the news to help raise as much as water as possible, says Uber.
"The UberWATER vehicle
view will be turned off once we reach 38 000 cups of water," says Uber.
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