#CapeTown keeps attracting huge events as water shortage continues to bite


(Posted 28th April 2018)


Tourism and in particular MICE business is the backbone of Cape Town’s economy, underscored by the fact that the city leads in Africa as per ICCA statistics seen with the most conferences and other MICE events held in any city on the continent.
Air connectivity is already superb and RwandAir will launch Cape Town flights, via Harare, in May, adding yet more seats for the city.
Having just returned from Cape Town where I attended the Africa Travel Week and #WTMA2018 – aka World Travel Market Africa – did reality kick in about the water situation in Cape Town. Conference organizers and hotels, I stayed at the Westin which is part of the CTICC complex, made regular appeals to save water.
Like the bucket showers in the old days when going on safari across Eastern Africa – regulate by a chain for on and off – did I play my part, get wet, turn off the water, lather down and then reopen the tap to wash down the soap.
Turning the tap off when brushing teeth is another way to save the precious fluid as are other options.
I will very likely return to Cape Town in June for #AviaDev2018 also held in Cape Town and again ‘Save Like A Local‘.

Wrote AviaDev to delegates heading to their event in June:

AviaDev, Africa’s premier event dedicated to growing connectivity to, from and within the continent will be promoting water conservation during its event in Cape Town this June. The event, hosted in partnership with Cape Town Air Access and Tsogo Sun Hotels, aims to ensure the 250+ attendees expected “save like a local” during their visit.

The event comes at an appropriate time as climate change is a new reality that will continue to affect cities around the world in coming years. Cape Town and the Western Cape is currently demonstrating how to come back from a severe drought – with the joint response from government, business and the tourism industry emerging as best practise for promoting “water-wise tourism” in the face of climate change.

Encouraging visitors to “save like a local”, this week Wesgro, in partnership with FLOW, launched a global first water-offset tool, My Water Foot Print, as part of a bid to boost #WaterWiseTourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The My Water Footprint tool, .


Tim Harris, CEO, Wesgro

Reflecting on the importance of this initiative, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said, “‘when our Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau bid for this important conference, we knew that it would be of great value to our province and to our country, as we seek to connect to more places around the world. We also knew that we would find in AviaDev, socially responsible partners who would work with us to help us save water. We are extremely grateful for these efforts, and we are ready to welcome all delegates to our beautiful city and province.”

Tsogo Sun are also taking on many initiatives to ensure they are helping to conserve water, whilst still ensuring guests have all they need. Darren Hailstones, Deputy General Manager, Southern Sun Cape Sun said, “Initiatives implemented by the hotel include:
• Underground sourced water being used for our garden
• Purchase of water repelled table cloths reducing laundry thereof
• Removal of bath plugs
• Reduced frequency of changing bed linen and quantity of towels
• Replaced linen napkins with good quality paper napkins in restaurants
• Steam cooking method used as opposed to boiling
• Installation of flow limiters in bedroom showers and basin taps
• Water pressure has been reduced throughout the hotel

In addition, water saving signage has been placed in all public areas, bedrooms and back of house. Hotel guests are informed of the drought and asked to assist with water saving initiatives.”

Alongside the marketing promotion of AviaDev, Bench Events are committed to also increasing the awareness on water saving within the conference and encourage attendees to ensure they are responsible with their water use. Jon Howell, Managing Director, AviaDev commented, “As a conference organiser, we feel responsible for the impact we leave on a destination and we want this to be as positive as possible. The key message we want to promote is to save like a local to ensure that AviaDev 2018 has a minimal impact on water supplies in Cape Town”.

AviaDev will also be implementing initiatives for the event in the aim of being a water-neutral conference, these include:
• Plans to supplement the water estimated to be consumed for the conference.
• Publicising the water shortage and encouraging attendees to be conscious of their usage
• information around ways for attendees to reduce usage will be included on a variety of channels, including social media, email communications and the AviaDev website.

For more information on the water situation visit http://www.waterwesterncape.com
For more information on attending AviaDev visit www.aviationdevelop.com


Meanwhile has my host hotel during WTM Africa gone a step further when the Westin Cape Town launched their own water desalination plant to add capacity to their water needs, which are as in every other large hotel simply huge.

See the YouTube clip I received from Ross Baines, Director of Sales at the Westin Cape Town, and get an insight what it takes to continue make Cape Town tick and be able to draw in the huge crowds of visitors without which the local economy would take a real beating:


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: