Cape Town encourages tourism in townships, not ‘township tourism’
Cape Town Tourism has continued its initiative to encourage tourism in townships – as opposed to ‘township tourism’ – through eKasi Session 2.0.
The event brought together community-located tourism practitioners and professionals from Langa, Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain, and gave them the chance to share their thoughts on challenges they face, as well as opportunities to develop community-based tourism.
Common threads of conversation emerged across these neighbourhoods, including the desire to network with larger tourism enterprises to explore business development opportunities. Enver Mally committed to providing a space for these community-based operators to meet with larger enterprise operators, a task he has acted upon.
A close-out session between community-located tourism practitioners and professionals took place at iKhaya Le Langa in Langa, Cape Town. One-on-one engagements occurred between more established tour operators with the local operators, products and experiences from the various neighborhoods, to establish connections and build future business relationships.
Facilitated by Cape Town Tourism, the event offered a “speed-dating” format that allowed each participant to leverage the opportunity of establishing a connection, awareness of their offering and hopefully a chance to collaborate in the future. The goal of the eKasi Sessions is to break down any barriers in the tourism industry and open the playing fields for more opportunities.
Enver Mally, Cape Town Tourism’s chairperson, said: “Networking in industry is like the ‘Coca-Cola principle’ – it generates familiarity with your business, similar to when a person is travelling in different countries, they may not be sure what cold drink to buy, so they go for the brand most familiar to them. In business, you engage with those people with whom you are most familiar.”
Tony Elvin, founder of iKhaya le Langa, where the event was hosted, said: “I envision this kind of collaboration as having great potential, in the same way that many wine farms have banded together to form the Wine Routes of the Cape. In isolation, they had a great offering, together their collective offering has made them one of the top 10 South African attractions.
“I can see a similar potential offering should a group of community businesses collaborate to form local routes, and this is definitely something we’ll be exploring.”
Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, added: “In the tourism sector there are too many workshops that take place without consequence or action; we believe that bringing tourism professionals together from different backgrounds can provide the catalyst for innovative ideas and strategies for growing the sector.
“This kind of networking and relationship building is all part of transformation in our industry, and we must walk the talk in doing this. We appreciate that big operators like Hylton Ross, Aquila Game Reserve, African Eagle and Springbok Atlas recognise the value in such engagements.”
You can view the eKasi Session overview video below.