Excellent weather and great enthusiasm accompanied tourism day celebrations in the city of Cape Town today.
World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 every year as part of Tourism Month. A UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) initiative, it calls attention to the global issues and aspirations around tourism.
Despite a challenging round for tourism in recent years, it remains a powerful economic contributor, a major generator of jobs and opportunities, and an agent of change, working as it does to bring travelers to new, unknown things, people, and experiences. In 2011, World Tourism Day reflects on the theme “Tourism: Linking Cultures.”
Said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold: “Travel teaches tolerance. As people discover other places, people, and cultures, so they grow an understanding of how difference is not something to be feared. This is as true when speaking about Capetonians engaging with people and experiences beyond their back yard, as it is for the global traveler who encounters life in the townships of Cape Town.”
Cape Town Tourism marked the occasion with a free midday My Cape Town concert at the Cape Town Station Concourse, featuring Djembe drummers, Marimba players, and puppets.
In Khayelitsha, the city of Cape Town’s Tourism Department celebrated World Tourism Day at Lookout Hill with a showcase of community tourism products of different cultural origins, a school competition (where learners could partake in presentations on the distinctiveness of four different South African cultures), and a voting session for Table Mountain to be named one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
In Cape Town, Tourism Day is the culmination of a month-long “My Cape Town” program, which asks locals to be tourists in their own cities. Events, specials, giveaways and promotions by Cape Town Tourism and tourism partner’s such as the Table Mountain Cableway, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Point, and the City Sightseeing Buses added to the appeal of adventure and allowed more Capetonians the opportunity to experience their city anew.