CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Spring is in the air and this signals the start of the travel industry’s biggest month, Tourism Month. 27 September is World Tourism Day, highlighting and celebrating the importance of the industry in creating jobs and helping to build sustainable societies. This international day’s theme for 2015 is ‘1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities’, and it’s a global pact geared to encourage local citizens to get out and experience their cities like tourists and support the domestic economy, something that Cape Town Tourism has been promoting for many years through campaigns like My Cape Town.
For the South African travel industry, this month is also an occasion to celebrate our own Heritage Day and for members of the public to keep abreast of Rugby World Cup activity.
“The Mother City as usual is bustling with activities for visitors and especially locals to take part in with Cape Town Tourism partners responding to the celebration with a number of activities including South African National Parks (SANParks) Week, Heritage Week, National Braai Day and the Rugby World Cup,” says an excited Enver Duminy, CEO Cape Town Tourism.
For those unsure of what attraction, or activity, to see and do this month Cape Town Tourism has created the ultimate Cape Town Bucket List. Highlighting 100 things to do in Cape Town before you die there’s no better month to start ticking the boxes than during Tourism Month.
SANParks Week takes place from 14 – 19 September and offers free entrance to most of the Table Mountain National Park pay points (excluding Boulders Penguin Colony and the Table Mountain Cableway). At Cape Point prices for trips on the Flying Dutchman Funicular will be reduced with special prices for the family, as well as free face painting for children at the upper and lower stations on 19 September.
For all those rugby fans keen to enjoy the Rugby World Cup, the V&A Waterfront will transform its amphitheatre into the ABSA Boktown from 19 Sept – 31 Oct 2015. Broadcasting all the Bokke games live, the venue will be open to the public for free (seats are limited to 500). With celebrity MCs, Springbok Rugby Legends, and guest bands appearing and performing both during and after the games, it promises fun for the whole family.
Also on the sporting front, on 20 September Capetonians and visitors from all over will be taking part in the Cape Town Marathon. Runners will be able to take in the sights and sounds of the city in all of its natural beauty on this 42.2km run.
And for nature lovers, there’s a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of a free garden tour at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden from 22 – 27 September. The 2-hour tours will be conducted by professional guides every day from 10:00 – 14:00 and will focus on this United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) heritage site.
For a true immersive experience in local culture, the Khayelitsha Arts Festival (24 – 27 September) offers all the opportunity to engage with the close-knit Khayelitsha community and allows locals to showcase the best they have to offer the world.
The Fringe Arts Festival (24 September – 4 October), taking place in the CBD and Langa, returns to the Mother City for a second year with 80 performances including dance, theatre, family performances and more.
The Good Night Market held on the last Wednesday of the month (30 September) at the Watershed in the V&A Waterfront is an exciting and trendy way to end the month. Visitors will be treated to art exhibitions, live performances, as well as food trucks on site.
“As we celebrate Tourism Month I would like to encourage locals to take time out and be a tourist within their city and the rest of the country to explore the fun, affordable and exciting things to do, even on a minimal budget. Now is as good a time as any to travel locally given the volatile currency exchange rate. South Africa is a melting pot of tourist attractions that caters for a wide variety of tastes and interests. We have nine provinces, each with its own unique eclectic mix of things to do and see and there are some gems out there waiting to be discovered, even in our very own Mother City.
The worrying factor is the unemployment rate among our younger generation which stands at 52,7% for youth between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. There is huge opportunity for our unemployed youth to become innovative entrepreneurs and tap into the lucrative tourism sector that is the fastest growing economic sector globally. So let us all do our bit to stimulate growth in the local tourism sector and create sustainable opportunities,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Garreth Bloor.