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R3.53 million TBCSA funding injects life into Cape Town’s tourism projects

The Mother City’s official Destination Marketing and Destination Management Organisation (DMO), Cape Town Tourism (CTT), has been granted R3.53 million in TOMSA (tourism levy) funding through the collaborative fund managed by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) to aid tourism projects in Cape Town. The funds will be used exclusively for initiatives focused on SMME support, creating business networking opportunities, and youth development.

Cape Town Tourism Chief Executive Officer Enver Duminy says the destination management team played a crucial role in presenting a compelling business case to TOMSA during the application process, which ultimately secured the funding. He adds that this financial injection will enable the DMO to accelerate the recovery of the Mother City’s SMMEs and the region’s tourism sector.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding and support from the TBCSA. It will enable us to expand our efforts to support SMMEs and the youth in the tourism sector, fostering sustainable growth for the industry and the local economy. This aligns perfectly with our purpose which is to improve the lives of all Capetonians through tourism.”

Cape Town Tourism, a globally leading DMO, has even been recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for visitor services programmes. Duminy says the TBCSA’s vision and funding will enable the organisation to make significant strides towards its vision of empowering young historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in the industry and foster a tourism mindset among youth in schools.

TBCSA Chief Executive Officer, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, says, “The collaborative fund supports projects for the good of the tourism sector and is funded by the tourism levy. We don’t take for granted that we collect the tourism levy. That’s why we are extremely protective of the funds and ensure that recipients use them appropriately.”

The TBCSA is the umbrella organisation representing the unified voice of the tourism industry. Its primary function is to facilitate the development and growth of the South African tourism sector by promoting favourable policies, creating a platform for dialogue, and providing support to its members.

“As a lifestyle marketing tourism start-up based in the heart of Khayelitsha, Cape Town Tourisms’s business-boosting funding and mentorship programmes allow us to overcome challenges and capitalise on opportunities in the market so we can contribute towards recreating those unforgettable experiences local and international tourists have come to expect from our beautiful Mother City,” says Ayanda from ABCD Concepts.

Abongwe Tongo, a Tourism teacher from ID Mkhize Senior Secondary School says there are countless opportunities for young South Africans to pursue careers in the vast and exciting tourism field. Tongo adds that Cape Town Tourism’s school youth development initiatives open young minds to these opportunities.

“Cape Town Tourism’s innovative school tourism programmes empower young South African minds to start seeing tourism as a potential career and contribute to the sector’s continued growth. Empowering future young entrepreneurs and tourism business owners allows us to build a more resilient sector.”

The funding will support the DMO’s vision by focusing on various tourism initiatives in the region, including:

  • Neighbourhood Experience Development: This initiative will provide market readiness support, trade experience development, and SMME product training for relevant products within identified neighbourhoods. The content will be updated, digitised, and translated into isiXhosa and Afrikaans, with live training sessions and online catch-ups provided.
  • Business Skills and Marketing Incubator: A training course for SMMEs to help them understand the tourism landscape and manage their operations effectively, conducted in the format of a marketing incubator, with content translated into isiXhosa and Afrikaans.
  • Mentorship and Coaching: A targeted mentorship programme providing individualised interventions to qualifying mentees from experienced mentors or business stakeholders with specific skills and knowledge.
  • Ekasi Group Networking: One-day interactive workshops for tourism businesses operating in various townships within Cape Town, aimed at exchanging ideas and finding solutions to issues hindering growth in their respective industry.
  • Business Skills Training: Business skills training sessions, based on identified needs, such as marketing, budgeting, business finance, and pricing, and designed to help SMEs better understand the factors influencing business success.
  • Youth School’s Programme: One-day tourism workshops, in partnership with the industry, targeting schools that offer tourism as a subject. The programme aims to create awareness of careers and entrepreneurship opportunities in the tourism sector.
  • Teacher’s Think Tank: One-day engagement sessions with industry experts to better prepare teachers from disadvantaged schools to design relevant lesson plans based on current tourism realities.

“The funding granted to Cape Town Tourism by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa marks a significant step forward in our efforts to revitalise the Mother City’s tourism sector. As Cape Town Tourism continues to invest in these vital programmes, the city can look forward to a brighter, more prosperous future for its tourism sector and the communities it serves,” concludes Duminy.