Fearing Tourist Drought, Cape Town Charts a New Relationship with Water

Without rain, Cape Town could run out of water by July 9, city authorities predict.
Will I be able to flush my hotel toilet and have a shower?
Sisa Ntshona, who heads the tourism marketing arm of South Africa’s government, has the answer you’d expect: Tourists — who support an estimated 300,000 jobs in South Africa’s Western Cape province — should come but they should be prepared to help out and "Save like a local," as the slogan goes.
"How do we recalibrate the norm for global tourism?"
Tourist cash For Cape Town, keeping tourists flowing through the city is an urgent priority.
"If South Africa falls off the tourism radar screen globally, to get it back on will take so much attention and focus," he said.
Bookings for the first quarter of the year have so far not fallen, Ntshona and Nadasen say, though they have been fielding inquiries from worried potential visitors.
Tourism officials are well aware of the potential threat, however.
Organizers of dozens of big conferences held in Cape Town each year are making plans to ship in water from other less thirsty parts of the country, Ntshona said.
But, regardless, "we need to recalibrate our relationship with water as a country," Ntshona said.

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