SATSA’s industry WhatsApp groups were highly active on Tuesday, August 7th, as tourism stakeholders shared on-the-ground updates and current advice to help facilitate travel for fellow operators to and from Cape Town International Airport.
This was in response to the disruption caused by the ongoing taxi strike in and around Cape Town, which impacted travel around the airport earlier in the day.
“Our members have been actively assisting each other in navigating these disruptions to minimize the impact on guests arriving and departing on domestic and international flights. However, while we have an excellent community of stakeholders mitigating the impact on travelers, we are not immune as a destination to the longer-term effects of such a strike and resulting acts of violence,” says Oupa Pilane, SATSA Chair.
“It is unfortunate that both Capetonians and visiting tourists must endure this disturbance. For tourism, the implications go beyond short-term inconvenience and safety concerns for guests and staff, whom we deeply appreciate for their efforts to keep the tourism industry operational despite the challenges,” Pilane adds.
In the medium to long term, this is particularly detrimental from a destination reputation standpoint, Pilane notes. Illustrating this, the UK Government has already issued an advisory about the strikes, warning travellers about the disruption and violence.
“When one considers that just a few weeks ago, Cape Town was ranked as the #1 city in the world by the Telegraph Travel Awards, this kind of behaviour does no favours for tourism and its contributions to the economy and job creation,” Pilane continues. SATSA members operating in Cape Town report that business is continuing as usual.
“The tourism industry is incredibly resilient and accustomed to managing crises. As always, we will handle this one professionally and do everything we can to ensure our guests’ experience is as seamless and secure as possible, so they can have an exceptional stay in the Mother City, return, and share their positive experiences with others,” Pilane concludes.