Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa Annual General Meeting | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa Annual General Meeting

17 July 2019

Chairperson of FEDHASA National and Cape, Mr Jeff Rosenberg;

Chief Executive Officer of FEDHASA, Ms Zama Lee;

Executive Officer of FEDHASA Cape, Ms Rema Wiese;

Outgoing Members of the FEDHASA Cape Board;

Nominees for the new FEDHASA Cape Board;

General Manager of the One&Only, Cape Town, Mr Richard Lyon, and his team;

All guests of FEDHASA Cape present here today;

Ladies and gentleman:

We prioritised the tourism sector in the last five years, and we intend to prioritize the tourism sector in the next five years in the Western Cape.

We have had some remarkable successes such as the award winning “Cape Town Air Access” partnership, which brings together three spheres of government, six entities, and the private sector, and which has done such great work launching new routes, and expanding existing routes, and growing seat capacity numbers at Cape Town International Airport.

During the past four years, “Cape Town Air Access” has assisted in launching 15 new direct routes and 20 route expansions; introduced new airlines including Rwanda Air, Austrian Airlines and Cathay Pacific; and contributed about US$400 million in direct tourism spending over the past three years in the Western Cape.  

We are especially proud of the fact that “Cape Town Air Access” is about to introduce another new airline - United Airlines - which will fly non-stop between New York and Cape Town, which we estimate will generate about R153 million in tourism spending in the Western Cape.  

We certainly look forward to welcoming all the passengers who arrive on the inaugural United Airlines flight at Cape Town International Airport on 16 December 2019.

We look forward to building on the successes of “Cape Town Air Access” and launching new routes, expanding existing routes and growing seat capacity numbers at Cape Town International Airport.

Just last night, we celebrated, to illustrate the point, “25 years in Cape Town” with Singapore Airlines, who have a daily service, year-round, to Cape Town International, and who promised that “there was more to come”.

What “Cape Town Air Access” illustrates is what we can achieve when we put our heads together, and we work together, in the Western Cape.

Ladies and gentleman

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to join you at your annual general meeting at one of your flagship properties - the One & Only, Cape Town - here in the Western Cape.

We have built a strong partnership with the hospitality industry over the past five years, and it is my intention to build an even stronger partnership with the hospitality industry over the next five years in the Western Cape.

We want to signal to the hospitality industry that we are “open for business” and that we are determined to create a thriving, inclusive and resilient economy in the Western Cape.

We have a tourism sector with the potential to provide employment and to give hope to people, who do not have jobs, or who have given up looking for jobs, and who live without dignity, without independence, and without hope in the Western Cape.

We have a tourism sector comprising of multiple stakeholders:

  • investors and hotel groups building and upgrading properties;

  • transport operators and tour guides taking tourists from one attraction to the next;

  • small and medium sized businesses offering unique experiences, including food, culture and sport, for our visitors to enjoy;

  • promotion agencies like Wesgro and Cape Town Tourism selling Cape Town and the Western Cape in a globally competitive market; and

  • our air access partners securing new flights from new markets to increase the number of tourists visiting the Western Cape.

We prioritised the tourism sector in the last five years, and we intend to prioritize the tourism sector in the next five years in the Western Cape.

We have had some remarkable successes such as the award winning “Cape Town Air Access” partnership, which brings together three spheres of government, six entities, and the private sector, and which has done such great work launching new routes, and expanding existing routes, and growing seat capacity numbers at Cape Town International Airport.

During the past four years, “Cape Town Air Access” has assisted in launching 15 new direct routes and 20 route expansions; introduced new airlines including Rwanda Air, Austrian Airlines and Cathay Pacific; and contributed about US$400 million in direct tourism spending over the past three years in the Western Cape.  

We are especially proud of the fact that “Cape Town Air Access” is about to introduce another new airline - United Airlines - which will fly non-stop between New York and Cape Town, which we estimate will generate about R153 million in tourism spending in the Western Cape.  

We certainly look forward to welcoming all the passengers who arrive on the inaugural United Airlines flight at Cape Town International Airport on 16 December 2019.

We look forward to building on the successes of “Cape Town Air Access” and launching new routes, expanding existing routes and growing seat capacity numbers at Cape Town International Airport.

Just last night, we celebrated, to illustrate the point, “25 years in Cape Town” with Singapore Airlines, who have a daily service, year-round, to Cape Town International, and who promised that “there was more to come”.

What “Cape Town Air Access” illustrates is what we can achieve when we put our heads together, and we work together, in the Western Cape.

However, there is much work to be done over the next five years to “unblock” the tourism sector - and the hospitality sector - in the Western Cape.

Two weeks ago, I met a “restauranteur” who owned a chain of specialist restaurants in the Western Cape.

And he told me his story: of battling with home affairs to get permanent residence; of battling with the liquor authorities to get liquor licences; and of battling to get work visas for specialist chefs to work in his kitchens.

We need to work on these “sticky” problems, with resolve, over time, and so over the next five years, I will be:

  • investing much more in our red tape reduction unit so that it is configured to deal with systemic, sector wide changes blocking the tourism and hospitality industry; and

  • if necessary robustly picking fights with national government on national policy, and national legislation, blocking the tourism industry and the hospitality industry in the Western Cape.

The tourism industry, and by extension the hospitality industry, who have come through the drought, presumably now face a different challenge, which is the spike in the level of crime, especially violent crime, in the Western Cape.

We have to stop the violence and for that reason we have “picked a fight” with national government on policing and have worked hard to ensure that more police are deployed and that the army is employed to support the police in the Western Cape.

We have established a tourism safety unit in my department, which is focused on hotspots, supporting victims, technology and other innovative solutions to tourist safety, and we looking into a dedicated tourism police unit, in partnership with the City of Cape Town.

Which is a beginning, but clearly we can, and we must do more, and I look forward to your views on how we can improve tourism safety in the Western Cape.

We will have to solve this problem, and many other problems facing the hospitality industry, together in the Western Cape.

So, I invite you:

  • to engage with me on the challenges you face and the solutions you have in mind to deal with those challenges in the Western Cape;

  • to provide inputs into policy-making as we develop a tourism policy designed to create a framework for success in the development, marketing, management and monitoring of tourism in the Western Cape;

  • to build on your good work, partnering with us, to develop work place skills for people, especially young people, in the Western Cape; and

  • to work with me to find new, innovative ways to ensure that tourists are safe in the Western Cape.

We are “open for business” and we are committed to working with the incoming board members of the hospitality industry and turning our strong partnership into an even stronger partnership in the Western Cape.

Thank you.

Media Enquiries: 
Francine Higham
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 4327
Cell: 071 087 5150