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Südafrikanische Botschaft
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Topnews, Südafrika, Tourismus

21. February 2018

SAT: South Africa Remains Open to Travellers Despite Local Water Shortage

The water shortage currently being experienced in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape of South Africa has provided the country with an opportunity to position itself as a global benchmark for how world-class cities respond to future climate threats.


“Climate change and drought conditions are a global issue not only isolated to South Africa. The country’s tourism industry, establishments and attractions are open for business. We are encouraging visitors not to cancel their trips to South Africa as water is available – its use is currently restricted in areas such as Cape Town and everyone is encouraged to use this precious resource with caution,” said Sisa Ntshona, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.


“An important point is that countries around the world are experiencing water shortages. It isn’t a developing world problem, but rather a worldwide one that affects one out of three people globally. Furthermore, other prominent international cities such as Los Angeles and Tokyo have had water restrictions in place for many years, so the current water shortage represents the new normal for sustainable tourism in South Africa,” continued Ntshona.


Since 1996, the World Health Organization has recommended that the international community adopt a figure of 50 litres per capita, per day as a basic water requirement for domestic supply; a comfortable limit meeting all consumption and hygiene requirements. Limiting water intake is not a new phenomenon for Cape Town or any other part of the country. The city has already cut its usage mandate by half over the past three years, from 1200 megalitres per day in 2015, to 540 megalitres per day currently.


“Staying away from South Africa is not part of the solution. Instead, it’s putting strain on an economy that depends heavily on tourism. According to World Travel and Tourism the sector employed 716 500 people (4,6% of all employment) nationally in 2016 while contributing R402 billion to the national economy (9,3% of the entire economy). Holistically, tourism presents nearly R1 in every R10 for the nations’ gross domestic product.  We remain open for business and are ready to welcome travelers from around the world to one of the most beautiful countries on Earth,” concluded Ntshona.


South African Tourism is making a plea to all South Africans, Africans and the global community to work together and be part of the solution. For the tourism industry specifically, it is necessary to demonstrate how to meet the future now and create the “new normal”.


As part of this plea, South African Tourism has instigated a global, multi-disciplinary communications and marketing campaign that reinforces and directs a narrative highlighting that South Africa is open for business, underpinned by the mandate of #WaterWiseTourism across the country.


Join the conversation on social media by using 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.
Ends.
About South Africa

South Africa is a destination that offers a wide variety of experiences in close proximity.  From wildlife safaris in 22 national parks, to breathtaking scenic outdoor spaces, vibrant modern designer cities and 2,700 km of diverse coastline with Blue Flag beaches. Follow inspiring heritage and cultural journeys to freedom, and include active or adventure activities for any budget.  South Africa welcomes 10 million visitors annually from around the world. Find out more about travel to South Africa at www.southafrica.net

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RELATING TO WATER SHORTAGE IN SOUTH AFRICA

FEBRUARY 2018

Q         Is water available in Western, Eastern and Northern Cape for travellers?

A          Yes – citizens and travellers alike are requested to abide by the water restrictions set in the area they are visiting. In line with World Health Organization basic standards, travellers to Cape Town for instance are requested to use 50 litres per day, per person and to conserve this precious resource as much as possible. Individuals will therefore still shower, boil water for food, practice basic hygiene, and drink the recommended amounts of water.

Q         Will I have to queue for water?

A          No – water is available through the regular sanitary and hygiene systems for taps, showers and toilets.

Q         50 litres per day isn’t much. What can I do with that?

A          With 50 litres of water you can use 18 litres to wash laundry, take a 90-second shower with 15 litres, use nine litres to flush a toilet, use three litres for daily hygiene, use two litres for cooking if in a self-catering establishment, and drink two litres of water.

Q         Are swimming pools still filled up?

A          Establishments are being encouraged to use grey water to fill their swimming pools; contact your travel agent or establishment owner to ascertain usage and availability.

Q         Are tourist attractions still operational?

A          All major tourism attractions have operational water, as well as restaurants, bars and other entertainment spots.

Q         Why should I inconvenience myself by following the water restrictions set when I can visit another country where water restrictions are not in place?

A          Water conservation and shortages is a worldwide problem. The World Health Organization has recommended that the international community adopt a figure of 50 litres per person, per day. Climate change and drought conditions are a global issue and not only isolated to the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape of South Africa. This is an opportunity for travellers to be mindful of both the need to conserve water and their impact on the planet.

Q         Must I cancel my trip to South Africa due to the water shortage?

A          No - staying away from the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape is not part of the solution. Cancelling a trip will place strain on regions that depends heavily on tourism. As an example, Cape Town has over 1.2 million visitors annually, spending approximately R40 billion, and creating over 300 000 jobs, which adds over 7.5% to the city’s total GDP. This spending helps significantly to fund the ongoing water saving projects being implemented; decreasing this input will create further challenges and financial strain.

Q         Won’t I contribute to the water shortage if I travel to South Africa on holiday or business?

No – be part of the solution and uphold your travel bookings as water is still available. According to World Travel and Tourism the sector employed 716 500 people (4,6% of all employment) nationally in 2016 while contributing R402 billion to the national economy (9,3% of the entire economy). Holistically, tourism presents nearly R1 in every R10 for the nations’ gross domestic product.

Q         How can I support South Africa during this crisis?

A          Uphold your travel bookings and be united in our communications to the world by getting behind the movement of #WaterWiseTourism that embraces the new normal of sustainable tourism and encourages all travellers and citizens to use water wisely. 

In all your communication, please continue to tell people that:

 

  • I do #WaterWiseTourism
  • We do #WaterWiseTourism
  • South Africa does #WaterWiseTourism

Integrate the hashtag into your email signature and use it in all your communication where appropriate. 

Please refer to the full communications pack, How to Do #WaterWiseTourism, for all collateral you may need.

Together we can take up the water conservation challenge and create global best practices along with the tourism industry.

Q         What is the tourism industry doing collectively to conserve water?

A          South African Tourism is collaborating and coordinating with various partners, including Wesgro, to further the reach of all communications for travellers. 

Since 2010, one of our largest tourist attractions, the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, has already cut water use by 53% prior to the drought through a mix of innovative and creative ways, including the use of borehole and grey water for toilets and irrigation, installing water-efficient fittings and proactive pressure management, along with aggressive leak detection. 

This is a trend we’ve witnessed across the industry as establishments, travellers and citizens rally behind this cause to conserve as much water as possible.

Ends.

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