Sat, 21 Sep 2019

The tourism economy is very important for Cape Town and any bad publicity has a knock-on effect which could ultimately impact thousands of jobs provided by the industry, James Vos, the City of Cape Town's Mayco member for economic development, has warned.

It is not just leisure tourism which is impacted by images of crime and violence in the city, but business tourism as well, in including decisions by big international conferences to come here or not, he added.

This is in addition to the drought making international news in recent years, which also had an impact on tourism numbers.

"That is why the City is working hard with various partners like the police to make more of a case for the creation of safer spaces around big conferences and in the Metropole," Vos said at the City Meets Business event in Cape Town on Wednesday. It was hosted by the Western Cape Business Opportunities' Forum (Wecbof).

The city also wants to diversify the tourism landscape and build more tourism businesses from the ground up and without compromising on quality, he said.

Poor Cape Town households spend 43% of income on transport - Mayco member

"In general, the City wants to provide a skills pipeline into sectors poised for big global growth and use its strategic assets as an economic lever. We want to see how we can get the best return on our investments," said Vos. "It is very important that decisions make business sense. Often governments spend lots of money on things that make government sense, but not business sense."

'Where start-ups never stop'

Research indicated that the clothing and textile industry in the city is one of the important sectors where skills development could help to expand operations and create jobs.

"Cape Town can be competitive and give China a run for its money in fast fashion intervention, for instance, especially with the increased cargo capacity due to more direct flights to Cape Town," said Vos.

The call centre industry is another sector with potential opportunities for job creation if skills development takes place, he said. According to Vos, two international companies, one in the US and one in the UK, have already expressed interest.

"Cape Town must be the city where start-ups never stop. Then they will create jobs and provide the skills needed," he said.

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