Cape Town - Diago Narita, the Japanese cyclist tourist who made headlines after his stolen bike was retrieved through a community and social media outcry, will be hosted in Cape Town for the duration of his stay by Cape Town Tourism, who will strive to send him back home with a positive experience of the country, despite the incident in Ceres.
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism told Traveller24 that “South Africa is full of wonderful, generous people", and this is the impression they would like Diago Narita to take back to Japan with him. READ: SA adventurer rallies Cape community to help robbed Japanese tourist get his bike back
Traveller24 reported earlier of how Narita's South African adventurer friend, Riaan Manser, shook up social media in a bid to #GetTheBikeBack.
Manser sent out some tweets and Facebook posts to get the ball rolling. “And hour later at about 08:30, [on Thursday, 23 April], we had radio stations and newspapers on board. #getthebikeback was the hashtag we used.
Manser's followers took spiritedly to the trend on Twitter and Facebook to help '#GetTheBikeBack', and soon local radio stations such as KFM 94.5 and Cape Talk aided in spreading the word and fueling the hashtag.
It took mere minutes for Manser's hashtag #GetTheBikeBack to go viral and within six hours, Narita's bike "was found in a nearby township, albeit in pieces" - spurring on the follow-up hashtag, #GotTheBikeBack!
"If someone knows how valuable a bike like that is, it is me. Diago kept telling me that he doesn't want another new bike as replacement. He wants his bike back.
Manser also commended the Ceres police for turning the negative incident into a positive, saying "Col Williams promised he would put a detective on it for the entire day."
There was also an overwhelming response from Ceres locals.
"One of the owners of Ceres Cycles, Jaco Taylor was a real champion, jumping straight in. He looked after Diago for the day, liaising with the investigators. Jaco is now helping put the bike back together for him," said Manser.
Some of the locals even offered to accompany Narita on his final cycling stretch towards the Mother City, where he will now be hosted by Cape Town Tourism.
Duminy said that Cape Town Tourism wanted "Diago’s experience of Cape Town to be an exceptional one and to assure him that collectively we are a caring and welcoming nation".
He acknowledged that "of late, the news coming out of our country has not been pleasant or indicative of the overall goodwill and friendliness that people in South Africa show to visitors and foreigners".
Diago will be hosted in Cape Town by CT Tourism's "Band Aid" service, in which the company strives to offer a positive experience to "visitors who have had a negative experience in the destination".
The Band Air project forms part of the Visitor Safety Programme
of Cape Town Tourism, in which they seek to ensure that visitors leave our destination with a positive impression.Please share your photos and travel experiences with us at email@example.com or post them on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts - you could be featured on News24.