The Western Cape has launched the Tourism Product Development Fund, which commits R5m (€263 335) to support new or existing tourism experiences in the province.
“The Tourism Product Development Fund is one of the many ways we are working hard to support the tourism sector, which has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and is facing significant job losses in the Western Cape,” said Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier.
He said product and market diversification were of great importance now as tourism businesses tried to build resilience, adding that offering tourism experiences that differentiate the Western Cape from other destinations would be important to economic recovery.
Tourism is a large contributor to the province’s economy and studies by Cape Town Tourism have shown that, while South African consumers have a desire to travel domestically, they may not have the means.
A survey sample of 5 485 South Africans revealed that only 24% of respondents had disposable income, with most planning to use this money on necessities, and only 5% planning on spending money on leisure travel in the near future.
“Now, more than ever, we need a smart approach, not only to how we market Cape Town as a great local and international destination, but also in how we manage the destination,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos.
“The Tourism Product Development Fund aims to support those products and experiences that are most unique, such as cultural and heritage experiences or hyperlocal food and dining attractions [small-scale community operations] that can only be experienced in the Western Cape,” said Maynier.
Submissions for the fund close on August 14 and all interested businesses are encouraged to apply