The South African Department of Tourism has announced plans to roll out a set of safety initiatives aimed at improving safety on Table Mountain.
The initiatives form part of a larger Tourism Safety Awareness Campaign by the department.
Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says the department will be deploying tourism monitors at “key attractions” on Table Mountain National Park, cameras and drones, as well as a tourism safety app which will be “piloted in December 2019 to assist distressed tourists”.
SATSA Offers Support
“As the organisation which represents the interests of South Africa’s inbound tourism private sector, we welcome any meaningful initiatives that are aimed at ensuring tourists’ safety and enhancing the tourism experience of visitors that come to South Africa,” says David Frost, CEO South Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA).
“It is essential that any plans, initiatives and strategies that are announced are put into concrete action plans and are implemented swiftly and proactively,” he adds.
SATSA has been working with the National Department of Tourism on its Tourism Safety Strategy.
“We are looking forward to the strategy being rolled out in earnest and communicated widely to tourists and travel industry stakeholders locally and internationally, so we can assure them that the safety of our tourists is of utmost importance,” adds Frost.
Strengthening Tourism Safety
According to David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, the additional measures will strengthen tourism safety and contribute to building a strong and vibrant tourism sector, which already provides about 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Western Cape.
“The opportunities for tourism to contribute to South Africa’s economy and job creation are vast,” agrees Frost.
“We hold the key to unlocking these and would urge government to continue their efforts to roll out actual concrete actions to keep tourists safe and remove the barriers, such as stringent visa requirements for certain markets, that are blocking tourists from experiencing the undeniable value proposition of Destination South Africa,” says Frost.
“Once visitors make the decision to travel long-haul and visit South Africa, they are full of praise for the destination when they return home and become our greatest ambassadors. Can you imagine what we could achieve if we eliminated the barriers within our control?”