Tourism Month is an annual celebration held in September that highlights the importance of tourism to the economy of Cape Town with a specific emphasis on citizen tourism in the Mother City. September is traditionally celebrated as a month with a strong focus on citizen tourism in Cape Town, and Cape Town Tourism, and the city of Cape Town are showcasing a number of ways in which Capetonians, Cape Town’s best ambassadors, can be tourists in their own city by making use of the affordable and exciting experiences on their own doorstep.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, said: “In our industry, it is imperative that locals have easy and affordable access to all of the Cape’s tourism experiences. Not only is this important for businesses, particularly during the winter months when tourism to Cape Town takes a slight dip, but it is also important for locals to experience these offerings first hand so that they may better understand and have pride in where they come from, and then share their love of this city with the rest of the world.
“Through our I ♥ Cape Town ( https://www.facebook.com/CapeTown.Travel ) Facebook page (with over 250,000 fans) and the growing conversation on Twitter, we have proven that Capetonians are the biggest lovers and best ambassadors of their own city. This is their month to celebrate our iconic gems and to discover the unexpected in their city by venturing beyond their own back yards.”
Besides Cape Town regulars such as the many craft and food markets dotted around town, live music gigs, comedy evenings, theatre productions, and supper clubs, there is an abundance of events and happenings taking place in Cape Town this September.
• Table Mountain Cableway, City Sightseeing Cape Town, Cape Point, and the V&A Waterfront run special promotions for locals and families. See Cape Town Tourism’s website (www.capetown.travel/blog/entry/enticing-world-tourism-month-celebrations-at-cape-towns-top-attractions-thi ) for more information.
• SANParks is offering free entry in to most of their national parks in, with the exception of Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town.
• Creative Week Cape Town, a crowd-sourced festival of creative events takes place alongside the annual Loerie Awards from September 15-23.
• The Open Book Festival takes place from September 20-24.
• Iziko Museums are offerings free entry into most of their establishments from September 19-25, in order to celebrate Heritage Day on September 24 (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium, which offers free entry on the 24th).
• The Cape Town Marathon takes place on September 23 and Vindaba 2012, a showcase of SA wines and wine tourism offerings is open to the public on September 27 at a cost of R50 per person in celebration of World Tourism Day.
For a comprehensive events listing during September, visit www.capetown.travel/events .
There are numerous #LoveCapeTown Deals ( www.capetown.travel/deals ) for the month of September, which have been made available to Capetonians by some of Cape Town Tourism’s members. These include discounts, value-driven deals, and giveaways. The deals will expire on September 30, 2012, inspiring people to get out and do it this month.
In conjunction with Heart 104.9FM, Cape Town Tourism will be running a #LoveCapeTown radio competition in September. The competition encourages listeners to phone in and talk about why they love Cape Town and how they care for the Mother City. Ten lucky winners will walk away with a Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus Tour for themselves and three friends on #LoveCapeTown Day, taking place on September 29, 2012. The prize also includes a City Sightseeing Canal Cruise, as well as a return cableway ride up Table Mountain, with lunch on top of the table, along with other fun activities.
Cape Town Tourism is also running a #LoveCapeTown photo competition ( www.capetown.travel/content/landing/lovecapetown ). Entries closed last week, but the portal will open at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, September 5, for public voting and will close again at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. The winner of the #LoveCapeTown photographic competition will walk away with R10,000 in cash.
Earmarked by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in order to celebrate tourism’s contribution to social, economic, and environmental issues, September 27 has been named World Tourism Day. Each year, a relevant theme is chosen for the occasion, and in 2012 that theme focuses on “Tourism and Sustainable Energy,” inviting everyone from trade to tourists to learn more about the sustainable energy initiatives in place in the tourism sector. This year, UNWTO is inviting everyone to visit the “online energy school” ( http://hotelenergysolutions.net/en/content/energy-school ) as part of Hotel Energy Solutions, a UNWTO-initiated project designed to help hoteliers cut their carbon emissions and costs.
Cape Town is renowned largely as a leisure tourism destination, with many of the city’s natural assets situated within its urban areas. For this reason, Cape Town has become a pioneering city when it comes to responsible tourism. In 2009, the city of Cape Town adopted the Responsible Tourism (RT) Policy and Action Plan, which commits to adopting responsible tourism in order to bring about positive economic, social, and environmental benefits.