The City of Cape Town is pulling out all stops in celebration of World Tourism Month, concluding with World Tourism Day on 27 September.
In a statement released by the city on Friday, this year's theme, "Tourism responding to the challenge of climate change" supports the United Nations Millennium Development Goal to promote environmental sustainability by announcing 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth.
This merges with the global campaign to implement the Davos Declaration, which builds on the tourism sector's key role in sustainable development, said Councillor Simon Grindrod, Mayoral Committee Member for Economics, Social Development and Tourism.
"Tourism is a key economic driver for Cape Town and the city's tourism department has lined up programmes aimed at growing local tourism by encouraging residents to discover the hidden gems within our beautiful destination," he added.
As part of its Integrated Development Plan, the councillor said, the city has adopted a new strategic area focusing on Energy Efficiency for a Sustainable Future.
Executive Director for Economics, Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed said overseas tourists were interested in local people and their cultures.
"As a result, during Tourism Month, we will run awareness programmes aimed at educating locals on the importance of their local environment as a tourism asset and the need to support local initiatives," said Mr Mohamed.
Cape Town's tourism month activities kick off with a series of workshops, entitled "You and Responsible Tourism: 2010 and Beyond".
The first workshop for high schools takes place on 10 September at the Good Hope Centre followed by a workshop for tertiary students on 16 September in the Cape Town Civic Centre, and a community-based bus tour on 26 September.
Emerging Entrepreneurship Workshops from 22-23 September will highlight potential business opportunities in tourism, with particular reference to the 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament.
On 27 September, there will be an Arts & Craft Sale at the Lookout Hill tourism facility in Khayelitsha, featuring products made by local crafters.
On 29 September, there will be a Langa walking tour, starting from Guga S'thebe as this is a community-based route facilitated by ten local guides to launch an authentic local tourism product. - BuaNews