The global pandemic has had a huge impact on industries across the world, but tourism’s been especially hard hit. For some destinations, like Cape Town, where the majority of businesses rely on foreign tourism to stay afloat, the pandemic could have spelled certain disaster.
Plan B for Tourism
Yet, the city responded admirably to this latest challenge like it did to the drought of 2015. Businesses and major tourism agencies immediately turned their focus to local tourism, encouraging both residents and national tourists to explore their own country first.
The city embraced the new health and safety regulations with the same good nature and inventiveness it took toward water restrictions back then.
It’s a ploy that’s worked well in other countries, like Vietnam and Australia, where nationwide marketing campaigns and attractive pricing have helped to reshape local travel to suit these difficult times.
The best part is, most residents of South Africa are loving the newfound discoveries lingering on their doorstep, especially with discounted rates to help them explore in these cash-strapped times.
Local Tourism is Responsible Tourism
When you travel, you leave a carbon footprint wherever you go. The further you go, the larger the impact you have. So, logically, skipping the jet plane and opting for short-distance travel reduces your carbon emissions and helps the environment right from the word go.
Secondly, with the focus on outdoor activities, rather than indoor pursuits, travellers are discovering an enhanced appreciation of nature, conservation, and our precious natural resources.
Healthier activities in the realm of niche travel are also taking off. Bike tours, scooter trips, and walking excursions are a big hit among this new breed of traveller.
Perhaps, the biggest responsibility of us all is supporting our local communities in these trying times. Small businesses have managed to stay afloat thanks to those who’ve changed their wandering ways and started shopping closer to home.
Nationally, there’s a huge awareness of the need to help rebuild the South African economy from within by keeping our tourism industry and small businesses on the go. This national push toward self-reliance is in turn fuelling a greater sense of community, called ‘ubuntu’.
That doesn’t mean the country’s turning a cold shoulder on international travellers by any means. What it does mean is that you might notice that things are a little bit different, and a little bit better than ever before when you do return to our shores.
Join the Struggle
Are you curious to discover the new ‘new South Africa’? Get in touch to book your Cape Town self-catering accommodation or browse our blog for inspiration to plan your travels.