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AAmid the news of water shortages being experienced in Cape Town, the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape, some of our travel trade partners have been left wondering whether there was room for them to do something about the water shortage situation in one of South Africa’s premier tourism destination.

Perhaps as the travel trade industry, we should all take a cue from our new President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s #sendme call to action in view of the fantastic work of promoting South Africa as a tourism destination in foreign markets. All role players must continue to spread the #WaterWiseTourism message of responsible behaviour by residents, businesses and our visitors.

Where to start?

It is commendable that various hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and tourism spots are implementing water saving measures. In case you are not are sure about where to start, first determine your #waterfootprint in order to get a sense of your overall water usage. 
Once you have done so, you can start implementing measures such as these so that you can monitor progress:

  • engaging tourists positively and proactively about water saving initiatives with notes;
  • installing water saving toilets;
  • applying a low-flow showerhead;
  • using less water in the garden; and
  • not disposing of medicines, paints or other pollutants down the sink.

What advice to give tourists?

As news continues to spread around the world about the water shortage, more and more tourists are about to approach our travel trade partners with questions about whether to travel or not. Once you have convinced them to keep their booking, you may want to share with them steps they can take as tourists to assist. There is plenty of information out there, but the Cape Town Travel website has some very useful and practical tips. The site has a useful water usage calculator tool.

What is #WaterWiseTourism?

To ensure that there is clarity about the impact of the drought on visitors, SA Tourism has launched a #WaterWiseTourism campaign and is supporting authorities and role players by making information available. 

Please visit our digital asset library to find social media assets and response documents which can be used by stakeholders on their respective social channels, including a frequently asked questions document to assist in answering questions from prospective tourists. We will continue to update the library with information during the campaign.

Join the social media conversation and share ideas on how residents and businesses can save water. Use the line; South Africa does #WaterWiseTourism. Together we can take up the water conservation challenge and create global best practices along with the tourism industry. 
So, feel free to encourage people to come visit the miracle nation where, even with the current water restrictions, we will make sure their visit is memorable and enjoyable.

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