Today, 27 September 2013, is World Tourism Day which is celebrated as part of World Tourism Month. Cape Town is celebrating as its Big Six attractions are expected to sign the Responsible Tourism Charter to commit to a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry in Cape Town in line with the 2013 World Tourism Day theme “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”. Cape Town’s Big Six are the Table Mountain Cableway, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, Groot Constantia, Cape Point and the Robben Island Museum.
World Tourism Day is observed around the world to raise awareness about the significance of tourism. Tourism is a trillion dollar sector involving the movement of over one billion tourists a year around the world and another five to six billion domestically.In line with the 2013 United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the 2013 theme for World Tourism Day is Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future. As the most widely celebrated global day for tourism, it represents a unique opportunity to raise awareness of tourism’s role in water access and shine a spotlight on the sector’s contribution to a more sustainable water future. With a record one billion international tourists travelling in a single year in 2012, now is the time to commit to a more sustainable tourism sector in order to protect our common future.
“Tourism is a key economic driver for Cape Town and the largest contributing sector to the Western Cape economy. The City has lined up programmes aimed at growing local tourism this month and will be encouraging residents to discover the hidden gems within our beautiful destination,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.
Cape Town was awarded the accolade of the ‘World’s Top City in Africa and the Middle East’ in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2013 as well as being ranked fourth overall in the Top 10 Cities in the World list.
About the Responsible Tourism Charter
The Charter, one of the key outcomes of the City’s Responsible Tourism Framework, commits signatories to responsible tourism behaviour and practices. It was first signed by the City of Cape Town and other major tourism industry associations after Council approved the Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan in 2009, which led to Cape Town becoming the first municipality to be awarded the ‘Best Destination Award’ at the World Travel Market the same year.
Responsible Tourism, sometimes known as “green” or “sustainable” tourism, is described as tourism that creates better places for people to live in, visit and work in.