Following recent muggings of tourists on Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch, the City of Cape Town has developed an integrated action plan to ensure the overall safety of its visitors. The Cape Town Visitor Safety and Support Action Plan was tabled this week at the City's Portfolio Committee for Economic, Social Development and Tourism.
"By way of current tourism projects, Cape Town should attract 3 million visitors per year by 2010 - this amounts to billions of rands spent directly in the city. Forecasts for last year are that tourism figures will show no less than 1.6 million visitors to our city, who spent around R12 billion.
"Visitor safety and support is one of the key issues impacting on sustainable tourism. Together with the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the City's tourism department has developed this strategy as part of a broader provincial initiative," said Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development and Tourism Cllr Simon Grindrod.
The Cape Town plan aims to pro-actively create a secure environment and develop capacity that can react quickly and effectively to visitor-related incidents.
"To manage incidents effectively, we have established a network of service providers to respond in an integrated manner. Main partners include the provincial tourism department, Cape Town Tourism, the City's protection services, emergency services, traffic department, tourism agencies, and transport providers.
"To promote safety awareness, the City incorporated a security component to its annual 'welcome" campaign during December last year. Over 40 000 copies of the City's festive programme, including safety and security tips, was handed out to visitors at Cape Town International, the Huguenot tunnel, Chapmans Peak, Engen garages along the N1, N2 and N7, and at the main beaches throughout the metropole," said Grindrod.
The plan lists potential man-made risks such as muggings, attacks at tourist spots or on trains and buses, hijackings, murder, rape, robberies, kidnapping and major transport disasters, as well as freak accidents.
Other potential disasters include fire, flooding, heavy winds, rain and rock falls; illegal visitor services being misled by fraudulent advertising or perceived exploitation; visitors compromised by language difficulty; outbreak of disease such as water contamination; and the interruption of services as a result of an energy crisis.
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