City seeks to retain award

Mayor Plato went up Table Mountain to call on the public to vote for Cape Town to retain its title of leading festival and events destination, and to vote for the cableway as a leading attraction.

Mayor Dan Plato has called on Capetonians to vote for their city in the World Travel Awards.

The initiative, founded in 1993, acknowledges those excelling in the fields of travel, tourism and hospitality.

Last year, Cape Town was named the World’s leading festival and event destination.

At the Africa and Indian Ocean World Travel Awards in June this year Cape Town was voted Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination for the second consecutive time.

Table Mountain won the title of Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction and Cape Town International Airport won Africa’s Leading Airport. All three contenders are now in running for the world title at the 2019 World Travel Awards.

Emphasising the importance of the tourism industry, Mr Plato said it employed 300 000 people – which made it all the more important to ensure the industry continued to thrive and that tourists were taken care of.

Added to this, JP Smith, the Mayco member for safety and security and events, said his department aimed to ensure that no tourist in Cape Town walked in fear.

“We acknowledge that with more unemployment comes more crime and more problems, hence it is mandatory that the City does its best to protect valuable tourism assets,” he said.

While “we do not want to prioritise the safety of tourists over that of locals,” he said, “we also want to prioritise jobs of locals.”

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy agreed that crime was a challenge.

“Tourism is challenging when it comes to crime, safety and security in Cape Town,” he said. “With that being said, we run year-round programmes focusing on the prevention of incidents through joint community, stakeholder, and enforcement efforts, the use of technology and in the training of hospitality stakeholders and their staff. As with all international urban centres, petty crime can occur in Cape Town, so residents and visitors are urged always to apply common sense when out and about.

“In addition to these proactive initiatives, Cape Town Tourism also participates in reactive programmes within the wider industry, such as our Band-Aid plan, where the industry supports visitors affected by any type of crime with remedial support, from assistance with travel arrangements to passport replacement,” he said.

You can vote through the website at www.worldtravelawards.com until Sunday October 20.