Water scarcity and tourism
Cape Town case study
“Despite the recent water security challenge we faced, the impact of this event was minimised through collaboration and common goodwill between citizens, government, businesses and tourists. Our refreshed focus on retaining our reputation as a world-class destination meant needing to do things differently and asking the right questions to find the right solutions. Data, insights and analytics from ForwardKeys have proved valuable resources in allowing us to reshape our strategies to make up for lost tourism numbers. This study has proved essential in looking at the impact of natural disasters from a different perspective.”
Chief Executive Officer of Cape Town Tourism
How global traveller statistics provide the basis for Cape Town’s crisis communication
In May 2017, the South African government was faced with the possibility of its largest city running out of water. Water stockpiling and panic began upon the goverment’s announcement of ‘day zero’, when the dam levels would be so low that taps in Cape Town would be turned off.
Residents leapt into action and requested the restriction of water use. Reusing shower water and limiting toilet flushing and night-time irrigation were among measures that saved the city from running dry.
Given the importance of tourism to the South African economy, local politicians were worried about the impact the water-saving scheme might have on the industry. It seemed clear that travellers concerned about water use would stay away; the question was to what extent tourism would be affected by the situation. South Africa’s position as a popular travel destination was under threat.
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