Reducing negative social impacts of tourism
The RT charter commits those who have signed to abide by a set of principles related to the protection of cultural heritage and reducing tourism’s negative impacts. We’ve also established Community Tourism Forums in disadvantaged areas such as Atlantis, Nyanga/Crossroads and Mitchell’s Plain, to raise tourism awareness among communities, including their role as custodians of their own cultural practices and heritage. Cape Town’s official visitors guide contains responsible tourism guidelines for visitors, which encourage visitors to respect local cultural, social and religious practices and the dignity and privacy of others, bargain responsibly and donate responsibly, etc. In addition, we’re working to protect land for the sacred Xhosa initiation tradition, which sometimes suffers from visits by uninvited outsiders, which follows the adoption of several city council resolutions to support continued sustainable practice of cultural traditions, such as tourist interactions with ritual sites.
Helping local culture flourish
In 2009 we produced the Khayelitsha Tourism map, which showcased places where visitors can experience both contemporary and traditional culture of the mainly Xhosa population of one of South Africa’s largest, most impoverished, township areas. The map features traditional healers, shebeens, eating places, crafters, musicians, homestays, peace gardens and historical sites. The Municipality also funds initiatives that conserve and promote local traditional and contemporary culture, such as:
- Events of cultural importance, like the Cape Town Jazz Festival, annual Cape Minstrels Carnival (rooted in the history and emancipation of slaves in the Cape), various Arts and Crafts Festivals and others
- Contemporary fashion, industrial and interior design, supported through funding for the internationally recognised Design INDABA Expo, Fashion Week, etc.
- We have the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) that supports the growth of our unique craft design tradition of the Cape and provides platforms for emerging entrepreneurs and artists.