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Water restrictions escalate as water crisis continues

The City of Cape Town has released a critical warning to all water users in Cape Town to cut all non-essential use of water immediately. This means that water should be used only for drinking, washing and cooking.  As water consumption continues to exceed the City’s target and current dam levels are dangerously low, the City is also exploring tightening water restrictions which are already on Level 3b. The word from the City is that “Rain or shine, we are now at a point where everyone must use below 100 litres per day.” Ways to reduce water consumption This is not a drill. […]

Entering the 2017 World Responsible Tourism Awards

To celebrate 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the organisers of the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards are taking a detour from the usual format of the awards and focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) instead. All five categories in the 2017 awards are linked to the SDGs. Another change is what categories organisations can enter in. The first four categories are open only to those who have won gold or silver in the last three years in the global, African, Indian or Irish Responsible Tourism Awards. The fifth category is for organisations new […]

Responsible tourism at WTM Africa 2017

For the fourth consecutive year, the City of Cape Town hosted and sponsored WTM Africa – one of Africa’s leading business-to-business exhibitions for Africa’s leisure travel industry. The exhibition was officially opened by the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, on 19 April. Once again, the trade show had a strong responsible tourism programme that included presentations, panel discussions and a dedicated activation space where businesses operating responsibly could present their work. Topics in the programme included the relationship between tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals, how Africa can leverage its rich cultural heritage to attract tourists and importantly […]

TripAdvisor data reveals Cape Town top African city for bookings

This year’s Data Africa 2017 conference in conjunction with TripAdvisor and E-Tourism Frontiers took place in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya.  It was a chance for Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) and tourism authorities from across the globe to share ideas and gain access to previously unpublished, deep data around the travel landscape. WESGRO attended the seminar, the outcome of which was a rich understanding of African travel trends for research, planning, booking and buying, which shed new light on key source markets. Insights from TripAdvisor included online path-to-purchase, trends for hotels, travel experiences and emerging behaviours.   A recap of some of […]

V&A Waterfront screens solar-powered show for Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an annual global event highlighting the environmental challenges facing our planet and is celebrated on the last Saturday in March for one hour from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time. During that hour people are encouraged to switch off their lights as a symbolic gesture of unity to reflect on our impact on the planet as part of a global citizen movement of positive change for the environment. This year, the V&A Waterfront is working with Sunshine Cinema, a solar-powered mobile cinema, to host their first solar-powered Earth Hour event. By using solar energy and battery packs, Sunshine […]

Bold action from the tourism industry to #savewater

In December we wrote a piece about how Level 3 water tariffs would affect tourism businesses. We were feeling like Cassandra, a character from Greek mythology who was gifted with the power of prophecy but cursed that no one should believe her since the piece attracted no comments.  But we imagine that the issue became a reality for tourism managers in January when they opened their rates bills and discovered that their water bills were at least double what they were expecting. There are two issues here – the first is how tourism businesses are charged for water and the second how much water […]

Peninsula’s holding tanks for sanitation system saves water

After being awarded the most energy efficient retrofit building in Cape Town in 2014, The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel continues to be greener than ever, by partaking in yet another sustainability initiative. Their latest project focuses on lowering water consumption through the capturing of ground water in holding tanks on the hotel’s roof, facilitated by The Peninsula’s unique rooftop pumping system, which is then used for sanitation purposes. “At The Peninsula, groundwater is channeled from rainwater and surrounding mountains, into underground streams beneath the hotel’s parking area. We have taken advantage of this unique positioning by creating borehole pumps that suck […]

Good reasons for energy efficiency in your tourism business

Rising input costs – you’re not alone As a tourism business owner, you may wonder if you alone are feeling the bite of rising costs – electricity, water and fuel among them. According to the TBCSA Tourism Business Index for the first quarter of 2016, the cost of inputs contributed a whopping 56% to tourism business performance – sadly negatively, not positively. This trend was also forecast to continue into the second quarter, and the rising cost of electricity was mentioned separately as an additional factor that would negatively affect business performance. Although the issues of high overheads were soon […]

Cape Town hotel’s bucket brigade recycles water in the CBD

Capetonians in the CBD may have noticed men and women watering plants on traffic islands with buckets. They are the staff members of the Townhouse Hotel on the corner of Mostert and Corporation streets, who are helping save water by recycling shower water used by hotel guests. This water recycling idea was the brainchild of GM Jacqueline Williams. “I was driving home one afternoon and I heard someone on the radio mention that she showers with a bucket to catch water and then recycles it in her garden. My husband laughed when I asked him to buy me buckets but […]