Travel Safely this Summer
Statement by Economic Development and Tourism Minister, Alan Winde
I would like to issue a warm welcome to the international and national tourists visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape this summer season. Tourism is a major source of jobs for the people of our province, and we are thrilled that more and more travellers are choosing our destination above others. The growing appeal of our destination is evident by the number of international awards that it has garnered this year as voted by tourists, including, most recently, being named as Lonely Planet’s third best travel destination in the world for 2014.
The enjoyment and wellbeing of our guests, and locals alike, is of paramount importance to us. We encourage all visitors to make the most of their trip to the Western Cape by exploring the many adventure and nature activities that our Province has to offer but also by travelling safely and responsibly.
The range of activities on offer in the Western Cape is available on our Destination Marketing Agency’s website – www.tourismcapetown.co.za.
To ensure that tourists can fully enjoy all that the Western Cape has to offer and do so safely, we have implemented a comprehensive Tourism Safety and Support Programme with links to the South African Police Services, international consulates and local tourism industry stakeholders that offers practical and emotional support to tourists that have been affected by injury or crime.
We are doing all that we can to keep our tourists safe. To make the Western Cape an even better tourist destination, visitors and locals of the Western Cape must also take responsibility for their safety.
In all countries, there are a few basic precautions that tourists should take to ensure that their stay is as safe as possible. This summer season, I would like to urge holiday-makers to follow these ten practical safety tips:
- Always carry a copy of your travel documents and keep the originals in a safe place. Report lost documents immediately.
- Do not carry large sums of cash, and be vigilant while drawing money at the ATM, and always keep your card in sight when paying for food or goods.
- Never leave your luggage unattended and keep your hotel room locked at all times.
- Plan your route before leaving your accommodation, and consult a visitor centre or your concierge about a reliable taxi service.
- Do not leave valuables in your motor vehicle and when on the road, keep your doors locked.
- Never pick up strangers and if you’re lost, ask for directions at the nearest police station, business or petrol station
- Pay attention to speed limits, road signs and traffic markings and do not drive drunk. The Western Cape has a zero tolerance policy against road offenders.
- Do not take valuables to the beach, swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard and reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
- When hiking, drink plenty of water throughout the day, always inform someone about the route you’re taking and carry a map. If a criminal confronts you, hand over your goods and remain calm.
- At night, remain in well-lit areas, be aware of spiked drinks and do not carry or wear valuable items.
This advice applies to travellers going to any country in the world as they are basic precautionary measures.
In the unfortunate and unlikely event that a tourist is the target of crime, he or she should call the police immediately on 10111.
In addition, tourists should take note of the following numbers, which are useful in a range of situations: