1 year ago

Western Cape Business 2022

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OVERVIEW Tourism Covid-19 waves are causing uncertainty. With uncertainty about exactly who could travel to South Africa, occupation rates for the 2021/22 season could not be accurately predicted but everyone agreed that having a good season would be vital for the health of the sector. City Lodge Hotels reported 60% occupancy rates over the Heritage Day long weekend, a signal that domestic tourism was picking up. December bookings at many of South Africa’s resorts were good but at the end of November, all signs were that a fourth wave was descending. Many tourism operators in the Western Cape were pinning their hopes on the 2021 tour by the British and Irish Lions, but Covid-19 allowed for no spectators or followers. A hoped-for tax benefit to South Africa of about R450-million did not materialise. A landmark on the Sea Point boulevard, the Winchester Hotel (pictured), reopened in 2021 after new owners Newmark spent R90-million on a major revamp. Having been built to house residential apartments, what became Winchester Gardens was famous for its jazz and Sunday teas. The 76-room hotel is now a luxury boutique hotel. In 2019, Cape Town Tourism projected that the value to the Western Cape of the cruise-ship industry between 2017 and 2027 would be about R220-billion. And then Covid-19 hit. Major investments have been made in the Cruise Ship Terminal, near the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and the Cape Town Air Access programme. Air Access created more than 750 000 new inbound seats between its inception in 2015 and 2020, adding something like R6-billion to the provincial economy. In ONLINE RESOURCES Cape Nature: Garden Route and Klein Karoo: Wesgro: SECTOR INSIGHT The Winchester Hotel has reopened under new management. 2019/20 the CTICC secured 52 conferences with an estimated economic impact of R2.3-billion. Unfortunately, the conferences and events sector is likely to be hit as badly as the cruise-ship industry. Following the major drought experienced by the Western Cape, the Westin Cape Town has taken steps to reduce its dependence on the municipality for water. The hotel’s position on reclaimed land in the CTICC precinct of the Foreshore means that about 1.2-million litres of seawater have to be taken out of the basement every day. This water is converted into 441 000 litres of clean water by reverse osmosis which saves more than 100-million litres of municipal water annually. The Westin has also created an organic roof garden, from which it supplies its restaurants with vegetables. The Western Cape Provincial Government wants to promote education in the arts. Based on research which found that 6% of employment in South Africa is in the cultural sector, the Western Cape will expand the traditional STEM emphasis to include two additional As: Arts and Agriculture. There are 60 000 people employed in the culture sector in the province. ■ WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022 38

FOCUS Save our Beach Huts A campaign is underway to restore Cape Town’s colourful landmarks. Credit: A Gorman Photography The Beach Huts of Cape Town have been around since the late 1800s. Over their lifetime they have changed significantly, eventually becoming the colourful huts we see today. They have always been a feature of our beaches. These structures have risen to iconic status, outgrowing their practical usefulness. Their true value lies in being an instantly recognisable image and arguably South Africa’s most iconic man-made structures. They occupy a significant portion of South Africa’s global brand image. The importance of this for attracting tourism to our country cannot be overstated. Tourism, a large source of foreign direct income, has an important role to play in alleviating poverty and creating opportunities for all South Africans. Tourism is everybody’s business. The Beach Huts have been falling into disrepair for some time. A harsh environment, complex Contact details The Beach Hut Trust: Angela Gorman Mobile: 079 504 1933 Email: municipal structures and more pressing socioeconomic issues have resulted in the nearcollapse of this iconic infrastructure. The Beach Huts are as important to South Africa as the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower is to New York and Paris. The SAVE OUR BEACH HUTS campaign, run by The Beach Hut Trust, is a public and private collaborative initiative. The objectives are to Preserve, Protect and Promote the Beach Huts, Cape Town’s most iconic structures. To us, they represent opportunity and hope for South Africa. To the world, they represent a reason to travel here. We aim to create employment, restore an icon, promote tourism and generate a Beach Beach Huts-inspired industry that will sustain them indefinitely. The opportunities are endless and we are calling on all businesses to see how they can help support the programme to #SaveOurBeachHuts. ■ Daniel Blaauw Mobile: 081 776 6522 Email: 39 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2021

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