Cape Flats Tourism Network Launch
Cape Town, 13 December 2005 - The Western Cape MEC for Finance and Tourism, Ms Lynne Brown, today launched the Cape Flats Tourism Framework, the culmination of 12 months of research and consultation.
The aim of the framework is to investigate the tourism potential of the Cape Flats and the mainstreaming of the area into the tourism economy.
The framework arises out of the Integrated Tourism Development Framework (ITDF), a document used by the provincial authorities as a blueprint for the development of tourism across the province.
Speaking at the launch the Minister said: "We want to promote the concept of the Cape Flats Area as a tourism region by drawing tour operators, government departments, artists, cultural activists and tourism entrepreneurs into a collective effort towards developing tourism on the Cape Flats. This initiative has to be recognised as a vibrant and integrated contribution to inclusive, equitable, and sustainable growth and the betterment of society where benefits are equitably and transparently shared by all stakeholders - including indigenous people, youth, communities, investors and governments at all levels".
"Tourism must become part of the Cape Flats and the Cape Flats must become part of tourism," she added.
Key findings of the framework document include the following:
- Tourists have a low awareness of the Cape Flats product
- Whilst there is a wide variety of product this is currently too dispersed
- An approach which encourages nodal development rather than individually dispersed and disparate products needs to be engaged in
- Township tours need to be mainstreamed into the tourism economy
- The competitiveness of tour operators needs to be enhanced through skills development
- All levels of government and marketing agencies need to work together more effectively to ensure that indeed tourism and the Cape Flats become synonymous.
Speaking at the launch Mr Brent Walters, Director of Tourism Industry development for the Province, said that: "It is abundantly clear that given the context of the development of the Cape Flats as a political construct and divider of communities, tourism has to play a spatial reconciliatory role in the re-integration of the metro".
In recommending a forward strategy the framework suggests a series of nodal developments with the District Six Museum, a prime example of a successful record of the history of forced removals in the region, being the gateway to tourism on the Flats.
Nodes recommended for further development include: Woodstock/Salt River, Rondevlei, LookoutHill, Athlone-Langa, and the Edith Stevens Horticultural area amongst others.
Tourists to the Cape Flats could be taken on routes which included themes like; forced removals, sites of struggle, environmental linkages, spiritual sites and industrial and factory shopping tours; all done with the support of the various culinary and cultural delights the region has to offer.
"It is clear that the Cape Flats has a wealth of experiences to offer our tourists. As tourists visit the region and taste our varied diversity they will be enthralled and encouraged to visit our shores again and again and again" added Walters.
In the short term, after having put the nodes through an assessment tool, the framework suggests the development of one of the nodes, viz: Athlone-Langa as a first step.
Amongst the proposals for the node were the following:
- Development of an interpretive memory center - a space where locals and visitors can immerse themselves in the history of the area
- Development of a slave site route which will serve to create linkages between the city center and the Cape Flats
- The re-development of Cape Indigenous Trades like dressmaking and Coopering and Masonry
- The linkage of a sports museum to the Athlone Stadium precinct
- The development of an Iconic Cultural Junction at the Athlone Cooling Towers; and
- The development of Township Groove and Klopse Kamer Music Tour products.
Speaking at the launch Ms Noki Dube CEO of CTRU said: " We are particularly excited by this initiative as it will give us an opportunity to show more of what the region has to offer and at the same time encourage new entrepreneurs to enter the industry and assist with transformation"
Minister Brown said that her Department of Economic Development and Tourism viewed the framework as a living document. " We offer this as a tool to assist with: the re-integration of our people into the mainstream of tourism, the maximisation of the use of limited resources, the development of sustainable tourism product and the creation of market access opportunities for all in our quest to improve the quality of life for our citizens. Indeed we see the framework as an important part of our armoury to reach our vision of a growing sustainable tourism economy where the benefits are spread to all. With this in mind my department will accept written comment on the framework up to 31 March 2006," she added.
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